In the last five decades, genetic structure of populations are being studied in via ABO blood groups system, mtDNA and Y chromosome makers to understand history of human migration and relatedness of ethnic groups settled in close proximity. In the present study, the distribution of ABO and Rh blood groups and associated traits among various ethnic groups in Kogi State was analysed to determine the genetic composition of various ethnic groups. The study was carried out using students of Kogi State College of Nursing and Midwifery, Obangede. Participants for the study included 1,863 students of the college (1,427 females and 436 males) aged 16-40 years. The study is both retrospective and prospective. Records of admitted students into the college spanning 11 years (2002–2013) consecutively were retrospectively and prospectively collected from the various record units of the College. ABO, Rh blood group and Hb-electrophoresis tests were carried out on a white porcelain tile using blood grouping antisera and Hb-electrophoresis machine. From the 1,863 records reviewed for the ABO blood group, the phenotypic frequencies were highest for ABO*O (965, 51.80%) followed by ABO*B (404, 21.70%). The frequencies for ABO*A was observed as (379, 20.30%), whereas the frequency of ABO*AB group was observed to be lowest (115, 9.00%). It was observed that ABO*O > ABO*B > ABO*A > ABO*AB for each sex. The same pattern was observed for all the ethnic groups with a slight deviation in Bassa and Nupe where group A>B. The distribution of Rh antigen shows that Rh D positive was the highest with 1,755 (94.20%) while Rh D Negative was the lowest with 108 (5.8%). The genotypic frequency for haemoglobin was discovered to be highest for AA 1,095(58.50%) followed by AS 768 (41.00%) SS was observed to be comparatively very low 9(0.50%). The present study reveals association of ABO with malaria, hepatitis and level of academic performance of the subjects. There is also a weak association with birth order, BMI, height and weight. The result from this study is in line with the observed trend in other studies in Nigeria and also suggest that the ABO blood group disease association may affect more of metabolic than infectious diseases.

Background to Study

Blood is defined as ―the red viscous fluid that circulates round the body supplying O2 and nutritive substances absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract to the tissues, returns CO2 to the lungs and other products of metabolism to the kidneys, functions in the regulation of body temperature, and distributes hormones and other agents that regulate cell function‖ (Saladin, 2003; Barrett et al., 2010). Blood has always had a special mystique. From time immemorial, people have seen blood flow in the body and with it, the life of individual depends. People thus presumed that blood carried a mysterious ―vital force,‖ and Roman gladiators drank it to fortify themselves for battle. From ancient Egypt to nineteenth-century America, physicians drained ―bad blood‖ from their patients to treat everything from gout to headaches, from menstrual cramps to mental illness (Saladin, 2003). ―Blood group‖ can be defined as inherited allogeneic variation detected on the surface of blood cells (Daniels, 2002). The term applies to a defined system of red blood cell antigens (blood group substances) controlled by a genetic locus having a variable number of alleles e.g. A, B, and O in the ABO system (Murray et al., 2003; Daniels, 2002). The blood group is determined by the genetic make-up of the alleles of a system (Bakare et al., 2006; Bhuvnesh et al., 2011). There are at least other 29 known blood groups with a total of more than 240 antigens, including the MN, Duffy, Kell, Kidd, and Lewis groups (Storry and Olsson, 2004). These rarely cause transfusion reactions. The Kell, Kidd, and Duffy groups occasionally cause.