The first human blood group, that is, the ABO system discovered by Landsteiner,1
is the most commonly used blood system although many blood systems have been identified so far. The discovery of ABO system and findings of red cell agglutination in serum and recognition of blood groups laid the scientific basis for safe practice of blood transfusion.2
The other important blood systems are the Rhesus (Rh) and the MN system. ABO and Rh systems have major clinical significance and they are determined by the nature of different proteins present on the surface of red blood cells. The antigens of the ABO system are an integral part of the red cell membrane and they are also found in plasma and other body fluids.
All human populations share the same blood systems, although they differ in the frequencies of specific types. The distribution patterns of ABO and Rh systems are complex around the world. Some variation may even occur in different areas within one small country.3
The blood group distribution also shows variety according to races.4
It was reported that the group A has a wider distribution in Eskimos, the group B in Chinese and Indians, the group O, on the other hand, in American and Canadian Indians and Czechoslovakians and those living in Kenya.4
According to statistical distribution of the ABO blood types in the Turkey, 42.5% had type A and 33.7% had type O and 15.8% had type B, and 8.0% had type AB blood.5
When the rate of Rh+ is considered, it was reported to be about 85% in all the population. However, varying percentages were reported in various countries of the world (Kenya 96%, India 99%, Iran 90%, Turkey 87%).4
ABO blood groups are the most investigated erythrocyte antigen system, and owing to ease of identifying their phenotypes, they have been used as genetic markers in studies of their associations with various diseases.6,7
Studies from the 1950s demonstrated that blood group O is associated with duodenal ulcer disease, while gastric ulcer and gastric carcinoma are associated with blood group A.8
During the last few decades, several reports have suggested that ABO blood groups, in particular non-O blood groups, are associated with the risk of ischemic heart disease and of developing severe manifestations of atherosclerosis.9–12
Results from the Farmingham study13
and several other reports indicated that the incidence of ischemic heart disease might be higher in subjects of blood group A or its subgroups. Stakisaitis10
found that the blood group B might be related to coronary atherosclerosis in Lithuanian women. In apparent contradiction, Michell14
showed that towns with a higher prevalence of blood group O had higher rates of cardiovascular mortality.
Although several studies have been carried out to investigate relationships between the ABO blood groups and the incidence of certain diseases in medicine, little investigation has been made to explore the relationships between ABO blood groups and the incidence of oral and dental diseases. Aitchison and Carmichael15
studied the distribution of blood groups within two groups, one of whom were the random patients attending the dental hospital and the other consisting of cases with rampant caries. Barros and Witkop16
, on a large group of Chileans, found no association between the D.M.F scores for caries and ABO Blood groups.
It is well known that periodontal diseases have high incidence in population.17
Although bacterial plaque is considered the primary extrinsic etiologic agent in periodontal diseases,17,18
our purpose in this study was to describe whether there is a relationship between ABO blood groups and periodontal diseases in a group of Turkish people who have same social and economic conditions.