Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Health Related Sciences

First Advisor

Teresa Nadder


The clinical significance of ABO blood group is evident and universally accepted with regards to blood transfusion and pregnancy; however, the importance of ABO blood group as it relates to other diseases or disorders and overall mortality is not fully understood by the scientific community. Many studies have suggested associations between blood groups and disease, but consensus has not been reached regarding overall survival or longevity. This epidemiological, retrospective review of ABO blood group and age at the time of death in a hospitalized population in the Southeastern United States is the first multi-site study to examine this relationship. The study population was 56% male, 63.4% White, 31.0% Black and 2.1% Hispanic. Over half (61.1%) of the population had been transfused with red blood cells within one year of death. Overall, group O (46.6%) was the most prevalent ABO blood group, followed by group A (36.8%), Group B (12.9%) and group AB (3.7%). The population exhibited differences in the frequencies of ABO blood groups across the races, with the Hispanic population having the highest prevalence of group O (71.2%) and the Black and Asian populations having higher frequencies of group B (22.2% and 23.1% respectively) when compared to the overall population distribution. Lifespan ranged from 0 to 110 with a mean age at death of 58.7 years. While some differences in the mean age at death were noted across ABO blood groups, the main effect of ABO blood group on lifespan did not reach statistical significance when controlling for race, gender and history of red blood cell transfusion. These results contradict other studies that found an association between a particular ABO blood group and lifespan. Future work should consider including cause of death or primary disease as potential confounders and targeting expanded populations over a wider geographic area to increase generalizability and racial diversity.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2014