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Genetics University of Toronto Thrombophilia Study in Women (GUTTSI): genetic and other risk factors for venous thromboembolism in women.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



Women may be at increased risk for venous thromboembolism (VTE) as compared with men. We studied the effects of genetic and biochemical markers of thrombophilia in women, in conjunction with other established risk factors for VTE.


The present retrospective case-control study was conducted in a thrombosis treatment programme at a large Toronto hospital. The cases were 129 women aged 16-79 years with objectively confirmed VTE. Age-matched control individuals were women who were free of venous thrombosis. Neither cases nor control individuals had known cardiovascular disease. Participants were interviewed regarding personal risk factors for VTE, including smoking, history of malignancy, pregnancy, and oestrogen or oral contraceptive use. Blood specimens were analyzed for common single nucleotide polymorphisms of prothrombin, factor V and methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR; C677T, A1298C and T1317C), and the A66G polymorphism for methionine synthase reductase (MTRR).Fasting plasma homocysteine was also analyzed.


Women with VTE were significantly more likely than female control individuals to carry the prothrombin polymorphism and the factor V polymorphism, or to have fasting hyperhomocysteinaemia. Homozygosity for the C677T MTHFR gene was not a significant risk factor for VTE, or were the A1298C or T1317C MTHFR homozygous variants. Also, the A66G MTRR homozygous state did not confer an increased risk for VTE.


Prothrombin and factor V polymorphisms increased the risk for VTE in women, independent from other established risk factors. Although hyperhomocysteinaemia also heightens this risk, common polymorphisms in two genes that are responsible for homocysteine remethylation do not. These findings are consistent with previous studies that included both men and women.

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