The hypothesis that non-secretors of ABO blood group antigens, a group shown to be more susceptible to certain bacterial infections, may be at greater risk of gastroduodenal disease because of increased susceptibility to Helicobacter pylori infection was investigated. Of 101 patients with symptoms of dyspepsia who were undergoing endoscopy, 32% were non-secretors (determined from Lewis blood group phenotype), 36% had endoscopically visible gastroduodenal disease (antral gastritis, gastric ulcer, erosive duodenitis, duodenal ulcer or some combination), and 58% had H pylori detected in antral biopsy specimens. Non-secretors and patients with H pylori infection were significantly more likely to have gastroduodenal disease (p = 0.02 and p = 0.002 respectively). There was, however, no significant association between secretor status and H pylori infection, logistic regression analysis confirming that these were independently associated with gastroduodenal disease. Overall, the relative risk of gastroduodenal disease for non-secretors compared with secretors was 1.9 (95% confidence intervals 1.2, 3.2). Non-secretion of ABO blood group antigens is not related to H pylori infection but is independently and significantly associated with endoscopic gastroduodenal disease. The mechanism of this remains to be explained.
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