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Int J Cancer. 2013 Jul 15;133(2):315-22. doi: 10.1002/ijc.28019. Epub 2013 Feb 12.

Risk of advanced gastric precancerous lesions in Helicobacter pylori infected subjects is influenced by ABO blood group and cagA status.

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Genomic Epidemiology Group, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany.


A higher incidence of stomach cancer in ABO blood type A individuals than in those with blood type O has been known for a long time. We studied this association in relation to Helicobacter pylori (Hp) of different cagA status. For our study, we used baseline gastric histopathology data and DNAs from frozen gastric biopsies of 2,077 subjects enrolled in a chemoprevention trial for gastric precancerous lesions in Venezuela. We analyzed six single nucleotide polymorphisms in the ABO gene, and we assessed the presence of the Hp cagA gene. Odds ratios (ORs) for risk of advanced precancerous gastric lesions were calculated using individuals with normal gastric epithelium or non-atrophic gastritis as a reference. Among individuals carrying a cagA negative Hp infection or no Hp infection, those with blood type A had a lower risk of intestinal metaplasia (IM) and dysplasia than those with blood type O (OR=0.60; 95% CI 0.38-0.94). In carriers of cagA positive Hp strains, individuals with blood type A had a higher risk of IM or dysplasia than those with blood type O (OR=1.42, 95% CI 1.09-1.86) and a higher risk if compared to subjects carrying cagA negative strain and non-A blood group (OR=3.82, 95% CI=2.80-5.20). The interaction between Hp cagA status and blood type was statistically significant (p=0.0006). We showed that SNPs in the ABO gene, predictive of ABO blood groups, are associated with risk of advanced precancerous gastric lesions in individuals infected with Hp, but the assessment of the risk is strictly dependent on cagA status.

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