Journal of Medicine in the Tropics

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The effect of alcoholism on secretor status of blood groups A and B individuals in Jos – Nigeria

UG Egesie, NF Mbaka, OJ Egesie, KA Ibrahim


The ability to secrete blood group A and B substances in the saliva of individuals has been studied in alcoholics. Individuals who secrete their corresponding ABH substances in body fluids are known as secretors, while those who do not secrete these substances are non-secretors. Three hundred people were tested. One hundred and fifty were alcoholics and one hundred and fifty non-alcoholics served as controls. In the alcoholic group, seventy five were blood group B while seventy five were blood group A. Fifty out of the seventy five (67%) group A alcoholics were secretors, while 25 (33%) were non-secretors. Fourty two out of the seventy five (56%) blood group B alcoholics were secretors, while thirty three (44%) were non-secretors. In the non-alcoholic group, seventy five were of blood group A while the other seventy five had blood group B. Fifty eight out of the seventy five (77%) group A non-alcoholics were secretors while seventeen (23%) were non-secretors. Sixty three out of the seventy five (84%) blood group B non-alcoholics were secretors while 12 (16%) were non-secretors. The results show that the non-secretor status among the alcoholics (39%) was higher than the 19% for non-alcoholics. This would suggest that alcohol drastically alters ABH secretor blood group status of individuals. There was a significant difference (P<0.001) in the secretor and non-secretor status of blood group B alcoholic and non-alcoholic individuals. For blood group A alcoholic and non-alcoholic individuals, there was no statistically significant difference between the secretors and non-secretors. One could conclude therefore that alcohol consumption causes a reduction in the ability to secrete ABH blood group substances in the saliva of alcoholics; and that saliva alone should not be used when confirming blood group of individuals who consume alcohol.

Keywords: alcoholism, secretor status, blood group

Journal of Medicine in the Tropics Vol. 7(2) 2005: 8-12
AJOL African Journals Online