Blood type and ESCC risk

In the largest analysis of its kind, aggregating data from five studies in China, Dr. Chen and colleagues observed an approximately 30% higher risk of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma among those with blood type B and AB.

BMC Cancer. 2021 May 22;21(1):589. doi: 10.1186/s12885-021-08334-1. PMID: 34022824; PMCID: PMC8141232.

ABO genotypes and the risk of esophageal and gastric cancers.

Chen Y, Hu N, Liao L, Yu K, Shu XO, Zheng W, Yuan JM, Koh WP, Qiao YL, Fan JH, Dawsey SM, Freedman ND, Taylor PR, Goldstein AM, Abnet CC.


Background: Blood type has been associated with the risk of gastric cancer, but few studies have examined the association with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC).

Methods: We conducted a case-control study using genotyping data of Chinese individuals, including cases of 2022 ESCC, 1189 gastric cardia adenocarcinoma, 1161 gastric noncardia adenocarcinoma, and 2696 controls. Genetic blood type was imputed using three single nucleotide polymorphisms. We used logistic regression to examine the association between blood type and the risk of each cancer.

Results: Compared to blood type O, the risk of ESCC was significantly elevated for blood type B and AB, with the highest risk for type AB (OR, 95%CI: 1.34, 1.07-1.67). Analysis of genotype suggested that the association of ESCC was from carrying the B allele. Similarly, blood type was significantly associated with gastric noncardia adenocarcinoma (P < 0.001) with risk significantly elevated in type A (1.37, 1.14-1.65) and AB (1.44, 1.10-1.89) compared to type O. Blood type was not associated with gastric cardia adenocarcinoma (P = 0.13).

Conclusions: This study provides novel insights into the association between blood type and the risk of ESCC and restricted previously observed association to only gastric noncardia cancer, providing important evidence to clarify the pattern of association and suggesting mechanisms of action.

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