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ABO blood groups and hepatitis B virus infection: a systematic review and meta-analysis
  1. Wenzhan Jing,
  2. Siyu Zhao,
  3. Jue Liu,
  4. Min Liu
  1. Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Peking University, School of Public Health, Beijing, China
  1. Correspondence to Professor Min Liu; liumin{at}


Objective Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a major public health problem worldwide. Several studies have reported that ABO blood groups may be associated with HBV infection. However, its association is still controversial. We performed a meta-analysis to investigate whether ABO blood groups were associated with HBV infection.

Design Systematic review and meta-analysis.

Data sources Relevant studies available before 1 December 2019 were identified by searching PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, ScienceDirect and the Cochrane Library.

Eligibility criteria All cross-sectional or cohort studies from which the data of ABO blood group distribution and HBV infection could be extracted.

Data extraction and synthesis Studies were identified and extracted by two reviewers independently. Risk ratios (RRs) and 95% CIs were pooled by random-effect models to quantify this association.

Results Thirty-eight eligible articles including 241 868 HBV-infected subjects and 6 487 481 uninfected subjects were included. Overall, the risk of HBV infection had decreased by 8% in subjects with blood group B when compared with non-B blood group (RR=0.92, 95% CI 0.86 to 0.98). In the subgroup analyses, the inverse relationship between blood group B and HBV infection remained stable in higher endemic areas (HBV prevalence ≥5%), Asian people, larger sample size studies (≥2000), general population and blood donors, lower middle income group and studies published before the year 2010. Additionally, subjects with blood group O had a 12% increased risk of HBV infection (RR=1.12, 95% CI 1.01 to 1.24) in higher endemic areas. In the sensitivity analysis, the pooled risk estimates of blood group B and HBV infection were still stable.

Conclusions Our data suggested that the blood group B was associated with a lower risk of HBV infection. More research is needed to clarify the precise role of the ABO blood group in HBV infection to address the global question of HBV infection.

  • hepatitis B virus
  • ABO blood group
  • meta-analysis

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  • Contributors All authors contributed to this work. ML and JL conceived and designed the study strategy; SZ and WJ independently completed the processes of the article search, article assessment, data extraction, quality assessment and data analysis; WJ wrote the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

  • Funding This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 71934002, No. 71874003 and No. 81703240).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.