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Circulation. 2001 Sep 18;104(12):1367-73.

Alcohol consumption and hemostatic factors: analysis of the Framingham Offspring cohort.

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  • 1Division of General Medicine and Primary Care, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA 02215, USA. kmukamal@caregroup.harvard.edu



Moderate alcohol consumers have lower rates of cardiovascular disease than abstainers. One proposed mechanism is a beneficial effect on hemostatic parameters, but previous studies have provided conflicting results.


We measured levels of fibrinogen, plasma viscosity, von Willebrand factor, factor VII, plasminogen activator inhibitor antigen-1, and tissue plasminogen activator antigen in a cross-sectional analysis of 3223 adults free of cardiovascular disease enrolled in the Framingham Offspring Study. We assessed their alcohol consumption with a standardized questionnaire. Light-to-moderate alcohol consumption was associated with lower levels of fibrinogen, plasma viscosity, von Willebrand factor, and factor VII. This association was most pronounced for consumers of 3 to 7 drinks weekly for viscosity and 7 to 21 drinks weekly for the other hemostatic measures. Alcohol intake of 7 to 21 drinks weekly or more was associated with impaired fibrinolytic potential, reflected by higher levels of plasminogen activator inhibitor antigen-1 and tissue plasminogen activator antigen. Wine drinkers had lower plasminogen activator inhibitor antigen-1 levels than other drinkers, particularly at 3 to 21 drinks weekly, but beverage type did not otherwise consistently affect the results.


Light-to-moderate alcohol consumption is associated with lower levels of coagulatory factors, but higher intake is associated with impaired fibrinolytic potential. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that a balance between hemostatic and fibrinolytic activity may contribute to the complex relation of alcohol use with coronary heart disease.

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