Risk of gastric cancer and peptic ulcers in relation to ABO blood type: a cohort study

Am J Epidemiol. 2010 Dec 1;172(11):1280-5. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwq299. Epub 2010 Oct 11.


Blood group A was found to be associated with gastric cancer in the 1950s. Strikingly, for peptic ulcers an increased risk has been shown for blood group O. However, previous investigations have generally been poorly conducted and have failed to take a unifying approach to these observations. Using the Scandinavian Donations and Transfusions (referred to as "SCANDAT") database, the authors established a cohort of Swedish and Danish blood donors with known blood type and followed these for the occurrence of gastric cancer and peptic ulcers through December 31, 2002. Cases were ascertained by using nationwide cancer and hospital registers. Altogether, 1,089,022 donors were followed for up to 35 years, during which 688 gastric cancer cases and 5,667 peptic ulcer cases accrued. Poisson regression analyses confirmed an increased risk of gastric cancer among individuals with blood group A (incidence rate ratio = 1.20, 95% confidence interval: 1.02, 1.42) and conversely that peptic ulcer risk was instead highest among those with blood group O. In this large, population-based cohort study, the authors have confirmed the association between blood group A and gastric cancer. In addition, they give further support to the notion that individuals with blood group O have a higher risk of peptic ulcers than those with other blood groups.

MeSH terms

  • ABO Blood-Group System / blood*
  • Adult
  • Blood Donors / statistics & numerical data
  • Cohort Studies
  • Denmark / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Peptic Ulcer / blood*
  • Peptic Ulcer / epidemiology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Registries
  • Risk Assessment
  • Stomach Neoplasms / blood*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Whites


  • ABO Blood-Group System