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October 19, 2011

Blood type may predict CABG survival

Daily Briefing

    Identifying a patient's blood type may help predict his or her risk for complications or death following a coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) procedure, new research suggests.

    For the study, Duke University Medical Center researchers analyzed data for more than 15,000 people to determine whether patients with certain blood types faced an increased mortality or complication risk after CABG surgery. The results were presented this week at the American Society of Anesthesiologists' meeting in Chicago, HealthDay reports.

    The researchers found that patients with AB blood type had a 20% lower mortality risk after undergoing CABG than patients with A, B, or O blood types. According to the researchers, the gene that determines the O blood type confers lower levels of the clotting proteins, von Willebrand factor and Factor VIII. All blood types except AB may have at least one group O gene, which could account for an increased post-surgical bleeding risk.

    Although the study determined that AB blood type patients are at the lowest risk for bleeding after CABG, the researchers called for further studies to establish the order of risk for patients with other blood types. According to Medical News Today, the researchers hope that a simple, inexpensive blood test eventually could be used to identify the highest-risk patients (Preidt, HealthDay, 10/17; Medical News Today, 10/18).

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