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Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2010 Dec;30(12):2639-47. doi: 10.1161/ATVBAHA.110.211946. Epub 2010 Sep 16.

Body composition as determinant of thrombin generation in plasma: the Hoorn study.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Catharina Hospital, Eindhoven, the Netherlands.



The association between obesity and cardiovascular disease and venous thromboembolism might, at least partially, be explained by a hypercoagulable state. The extent to which body fat mass and its distribution contribute to a hypercoagulable state is unknown. In this study, we investigated the association between body composition and thrombin generation and evaluated the potential mediating role of low-grade inflammation.


We studied 586 individuals from the Hoorn Study (mean age, 69.7 ± 6.5 years, 298 women) in whom body composition was assessed by whole body dual-energy absorptiometry. Thrombin generation was measured using the calibrated automated thrombogram. Multiple regression analyses showed a positive association between total body fat and thrombin generation in women but not in men. In addition, detailed analyses of regional body composition showed that central but not peripheral fat mass was associated with greater thrombin generation and that there was a trend toward an inverse association with peripheral lean mass. The reported positive associations were partially attenuated by low-grade inflammation, however.


Body fat mass, in particular a central pattern of fat distribution, is associated with higher levels of thrombin generation in elderly women but not in men. This association may partially be explained by adiposity-related low-grade inflammation, but this hypothesis needs to be further investigated in mechanistic/prospective studies.

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