Distribution of ABO Blood Groups in Iraqi Samples of Leukemia and Lymphomas


The records of Hematological Diseases Unit at Baghdad Teaching Hospitals and National Center for Research and Treatment of Hematological Diseases (Al-Mustansiryiah University) were inspected for leukemia and lymphoma patients who were diagnosed and treated during the period 2008-2010, and their ABO blood groups were also obtained. The patients were distributed as 281 ALL, 128 CLL, 192 AML, 208 CML, 114 HDL (Hodgkin’s lymphoma) and 197 NHL (non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma). In addition, 595 blood donors were also included and considered as controls. Testing the goodness of fit for ABO blood group allele and phenotype frequencies showed a good agreement with Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (HWE) in controls and in ALL, CLL and HDL patients. In contrast, a significant corrected deviation was observed in CML (Pc = 0.04) and NHL (Pc = 2.3 x 10-6) patients. A further group of patients (CLL) also showed a significant deviation from HWE, but the difference was significant before correction (P = 0.05; Pc = 0.20). A further analysis of ABO blood group alleles revealed that their estimated numbers and frequencies varied between patients and controls, but a significant difference was recorded in CLL, CML and NHL patients. The allele I*A was significantly decreased in CLL (32.0 vs. 41.5%) and CML (28.8 vs. 41.5%) patients as compared with controls, but a corrected significant level was only observed in CML patients (Pc = 0.003). In NHL patients, the allele I*B was significantly decreased and the difference remain significant after correction (25.9 vs. 34.1; Pc = 0.03). These findings suggest a role of blood group phenotypes and alleles in the etiology of hematological malignancies.