The ABO blood group system is composed of complex carbohydrate molecules (i.e., the A, B, and H determinants) that are widely expressed on the surface of red blood cells and in a variety of other cell and tissues. Along with their pivotal role in transfusion and transplantation medicine, the ABO antigens participate in many other physiological processes and, in particular, are important determinants of von Willebrand factor and factor VIII circulating plasma levels. The precise influence of the ABO system on hemostasis has led the way to the investigation of a putative implication in the risk of developing cardiovascular disorders. Along with the underlying molecular mechanisms, the current knowledge on the role of ABO blood group antigens in both the thrombotic and hemorrhagic risk will be summarized in this narrative review.
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