ABO blood group is associated with peripheral arterial disease in African Americans: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA)

Mindy M. Pike, Nicholas B. Larson, Christina L. Wassel, Kevin P. Cohoon, Michael Y. Tsai, James S. Pankow, Naomi Q. Hanson, Paul A. Decker, Cecilia Berardi, Kristine S. Alexander, Mary Cushman, Neil A. Zakai, Suzette J. Bielinski

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3 Scopus citations


Introduction Peripheral artery disease (PAD) affects 8.5 million Americans and thus improving our understanding of PAD is critical to developing strategies to reduce disease burden. The objective of the study was to determine the association of ABO blood type with ankle brachial index (ABI) as well as prevalent and incident PAD in a multi-ethnic cohort. Methods The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis includes non-Hispanic White, African, Hispanic, and Chinese Americans aged 45–84. ABO blood type was estimated using ABO genotypes in 6027 participants who had ABI assessed at the baseline exam. Associations with ABO blood type were evaluated categorically and under an additive genetic model by number of major ABO alleles. After excluding those with ABI > 1.4, prevalent PAD was defined as ABI ≤ 0.9 at baseline and incident PAD as ABI ≤ 0.9 for 5137 participants eligible for analysis. Results There were 222 prevalent cases and 239 incident cases of PAD. In African Americans, each additional copy of the A allele was associated with a 0.02 lower baseline ABI (p = 0.006). Each copy of the A allele also corresponded to 1.57-fold greater odds of prevalent PAD (95% CI, 1.17–2.35; p = 0.004), but was not associated with incident PAD. No associations were found in other racial/ethnic groups for ABI, prevalent PAD, or incident PAD across all races/ethnicities. Conclusions Blood type A and the A allele count were significantly associated with baseline ABI and prevalent PAD in African Americans. Further research is needed to confirm and study the mechanisms of this association in African Americans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalThrombosis Research
StatePublished - May 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by contracts N01-HC-95159, N01-HC-95160, N01-HC-95161, N01-HC-95162, N01-HC-95163, N01-HC-95164, N01-HC-95165, N01-HC-95166, N01-HC-95167, N01-HC-95168, N01-HC-95169, and R01HL98077 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and by grants UL1-TR-000040 and UL1-TR-001079 from NCRR. The authors thank the other investigators, the staff, and the participants of the MESA study for their valuable contributions. A full list of participating MESA investigators and institutions can be found at http://www.mesa-nhlbi.org.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Ltd


  • ABO blood group
  • Ankle brachial index
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Epidemiology
  • Peripheral arterial disease


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