Blood group antigens

An association between the ABO locus and COPD has been reported, with the type A blood group being associated with impaired lung function [96]. Others have failed to confirm any relationship between ABO alleles and pulmonary function [97,98].

Although the ABO antigens in respiratory secretions may have a protective role [99,100] and might be responsible for the defect in susceptible smokers, these observations have not been confirmed in airflow obstruction [97,98,101]. Similarly, the Lewis blood system was investigated in airflow limitation, and it was shown that Lewis-negative subjects were at greater risk [102]. Blood group antigens have been associated with recurrent infections that may lead to COPD. However, the role of ABO, Lewis and secretor genes remains unclear in the pathogenesis of COPD.

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