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Race, ABO blood group, and venous thromboembolism risk: not black and white

Authors

  • Chunhui Fang,

    1. From the Department of Medicine, Jacobi Medical Center; the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine; and the Division of Hematology, Department of Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, New York.
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  • Hillel W. Cohen,

    1. From the Department of Medicine, Jacobi Medical Center; the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine; and the Division of Hematology, Department of Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, New York.
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  • Henny H. Billett

    Corresponding author
    1. From the Department of Medicine, Jacobi Medical Center; the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine; and the Division of Hematology, Department of Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, New York.
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  • This publication was supported in part by the CTSA Grant UL1 RR025750, KL2 RR025749, and TL1 RR025748 from the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and NIH roadmap for Medical Research. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessary represent the official view of the NCRR or NIH.

Henny H. Billett, MD, Ground Floor, Division of Hematology, Montefiore Medical Center, 3411 Wayne Avenue, Bronx, NY 10467; e-mail: henny.billett@einstein.yu.edu.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The rate of venous thromboembolism (VTE) has been reported to be higher in blacks compared to whites. Non-O blood groups have also been associated with a significantly higher VTE risk. Given that a higher proportion of blacks have O blood group, one might have expected that black individuals would have fewer VTEs.

STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: In this study, we analyzed race, sex, age, ABO or Rh blood group, and VTE risk in 60,982 black and white patients admitted over a span of 10 years.

RESULTS: The overall occurrence of VTEs was 7.6%, higher in males (8.7% males vs. 7.2% females), higher in non-O blood groups (8.5% non-O vs. 6.9% O blood group), and increased with age (5.8% <65 years, 11.3% ≥65 years). No difference in VTE rate was noted with Rh antigen positivity. When stratified by age, VTE rate was consistently higher in blacks and non-O blood groups. No difference was detected among the various non-O blood groups. To assess the potential confounder of comorbidities, we stratified patients according to Charlson comorbidity score. In a subgroup of healthy patients with age-independent Charlson comorbidity scores of 0 (n = 28,387), blacks still had an increased VTE risk and this risk was still higher with increasing age and in those with non-O blood groups.

CONCLUSION: We conclude that black race and non-O blood groups have increased VTE risk when stratified for age and that associated comorbidities do not explain these differences.

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