ABO blood group associations with markers of endothelial dysfunction in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis

Nicholas B. Larson, Elizabeth J. Bell, Paul A. Decker, Mindy Pike, Christina L. Wassel, Michael Y. Tsai, James S. Pankow, Weihong Tang, Naomi Q. Hanson, Kristine Alexander, Neil A. Zakai, Mary Cushman, Suzette J. Bielinski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background and aims ABO blood type is associated with cardiovascular disease, although the underlying mechanisms are presumed to be complex. While the relationship between non-O blood types and von Willebrand Factor (vWF) is well-established, associations with cellular adhesion molecules (CAMs) across diverse populations are understudied. Methods We genetically inferred ABO alleles for N = 6202 participants from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. Linear regression was used to evaluate associations between major ABO allele dosages and log-transformed measurements of vWF (N = 924), soluble E-selectin (sE-selectin, N = 925), soluble P-selectin (sP-selectin, N = 2392), and soluble ICAM-1 (sICAM-1, N = 2236) by race/ethnicity. Results For the selectins, the A1 allele was associated with significantly lower levels for all races/ethnicities, with each additional allele resulting in a 28–39% decrease in sE-selectin and 10–18% decrease in sP-selectin relative to Type O subjects. However, the A2 allele demonstrated effect heterogeneity across race/ethnicity for sE-selectin, with lower levels for non-Hispanic whites (p = 0.0011) but higher levels for Hispanics (p = 0.0021). We also identified elevated sP-selectin levels for B-allele carriers solely in Hispanic participants (p = 1.0E-04). ABO-by-race/ethnicity interactions were significant for both selectins (p < 0.0125). More modest associations were observed between A1 allele dosage and levels of sICAM-1, with ABO alleles explaining 0.8–1.1% of the total phenotypic variation within race/ethnicity. ABO associations with vWF activity were consistent across race/ethnicity, with B allele carriers corresponding to the highest vWF activity levels. Conclusions ABO blood type demonstrates complex associations with endothelial markers that are largely generalizable across diverse populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)422-429
Number of pages8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016


  • ABO
  • Cellular adhesion
  • Multi-ethnic
  • Von willebrand factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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