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Clin Hemorheol Microcirc. 2002;26(1):41-53.

Biological risk factors for deep vein trombosis.

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  • 1Hemorheology and Thrombosis Unit, Department of Clinical Pathology, La Fe University Hospital, Valencia, Spain.


Hypercoagulable states due either to inherited or acquired thrombotic risk factors are only present in approximately half of cases of DVT, but the causes in the other half, remain unknown. The importance of biological risk factors such as hyperlipidemia, hypofibrinolysis and hemorheological alterations in the pathogenesis of DVT has not been well established. In order to ascertain whether the above mentioned biological factors are associated with DVT and could constitute independent risk factors, we carried out a case-control study in 109 first DVT patients in whom inherited or acquired thrombophilic risk factors had been ruled out and 121 healthy controls age (42+/-15 years) and sex matched. From all the biological variables analyzed (cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose, fibrinogen, erythrocyte aggregation, hematocrit, plasma viscosity and PAI-1) only fibrinogen concentration reached a statistically significant difference on the comparison of means (290+/-73 mg/dl in cases vs 268+/-58 mg/dl in controls, p<0.05). After this continuous variables were dichotomized according to our reference values, the percentage of cases with cholesterolemia >220 mg/dl, hematocrit >45% and fibrinogen >300 mg/dl was higher in cases than in controls: 38% vs 22%; p<0.01; 43% vs 27%; p<0.05; 36% vs 23%; p<0.05, respectively. The percentage of cases with PAI-1 values >30 ng/ml, 37% vs 25% was borderline significant; p=0.055. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that cholesterolemia >220 mg/dl and fibrinogen >300 mg/dl constitute independent predictors of venous thrombotic risk. The adjusted OR's were 2.03 (95% CI; 1.12-3.70) for cholesterolemia and 1.94 (95% CI; 1.07-3.55) for fibrinogen. When these two variables combined DVT risk rose about fourfold (3.96; p<0.05). Our results suggest that hypercholesterolemia and hyperfibrinogenemia should be added to the list of known DVT risk factors and we recommend adopting measures to decrease these variables in the population with a high risk of DVT.

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