Several studies have suggested that patients with non-O blood group have an increased risk of both venous and arterial thromboembolic events. On the contrary, the role of ABO blood group on the risk of bleeding complications remains unclear. Thus, we performed a meta-analysis of the literature with the aim of assessing this potential association. MEDLINE and Embase databases were searched from 1946 to March 2012. Studies comparing the prevalence of different ABO blood groups in bleeding patients as well as in controls without bleeding complications were potentially includible. Two reviewers independently selected studies and extracted study characteristics, quality, and outcomes. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated for each trial and pooled using a random-effects model. Twenty-two studies totalling 9,468 bleeding patients and more than 450,000 controls were included. The prevalence of O blood group was significantly higher in bleeding patients than in controls, with a resulting pooled OR of 1.33 (95% CI = 1.25 to 1.42; p < 0.001). The result of this meta-analysis of a very large sample of bleeding patients and controls suggests that O blood group is a potentially important genetic risk factor for bleeding. High-quality prospective studies are warranted to confirm these preliminary findings.
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