Lack of relationship between ABH secretor status and lung function in pulp mill workers

Am Rev Respir Dis. 1982 Dec;126(6):1089-91. doi: 10.1164/arrd.1982.126.6.1089.


To evaluate whether persons who do not secrete blood group antigens in their saliva (ABH nonsecretors) are more prone to develop respiratory symptoms or lung function abnormalities than are ABH secretors, we determined ABH secretor status of 1,422 pulp mill workers who took part in an occupational health survey. There were 331 nonsecretors (23.3% of total population), and the remainder were secretors. Respiratory symptoms were not significantly different in nonsecretors when compared with secretors. Spirometric results for forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), maximal mid-expiratory flow (MMEF), forced vital capacity (FVC), and FEV1/FVC% were not significantly different in nonsecretors when compared with secretors, irrespective of smoking status or occupational exposure. Likewise, there was no significant difference in prevalence rates of abnormal FEV1, MMEF, or FEV1/FVC%, in nonsecretors when compared with secretors. It is concluded that ABH secretor status is not related to respiratory symptoms or spirometric abnormalities in pulp mill workers. This study suggests that ABH nonsecretor status is not a significant risk factor for the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • ABO Blood-Group System*
  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Industry
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / etiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology*
  • Paper
  • Risk
  • Saliva / analysis*
  • Smoking
  • Spirometry


  • ABO Blood-Group System