Evolutionary aspects of ABO blood group in humans

Clin Chim Acta. 2015 Apr 15;444:66-71. doi: 10.1016/j.cca.2015.02.016. Epub 2015 Feb 14.


The antigens of the ABO blood group system (A, B and H determinants) are complex carbohydrate molecules expressed on red blood cells and on a variety of other cell lines and tissues. Growing evidence is accumulating that ABO antigens, beyond their key role in transfusion medicine, may interplay with the pathogenesis of many human disorders, including infectious, cardiovascular and neoplastic diseases. In this narrative review, after succinct description of the current knowledge on the association between ABO blood groups and the most severe diseases, we aim to elucidate the particularly intriguing issue of the possible role of ABO system in successful aging. In particular, focus will be placed on studies evaluating the ABO phenotype in centenarians, the best human model of longevity.

Keywords: ABO blood group; Cancers; Cardiovascular diseases; Infections; Longevity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • ABO Blood-Group System / genetics*
  • Biological Evolution
  • Disease / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Longevity / genetics


  • ABO Blood-Group System