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PLoS One. 2013;8(2):e55175. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0055175. Epub 2013 Feb 7.

Hemostatic factors and risk of coronary heart disease in general populations: new prospective study and updated meta-analyses.

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  • 1Department of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.



Activation of blood coagulation and fibrinolysis may be associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease. We aimed to assess associations of circulating tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) antigen, D-dimer and von Willebrand factor (VWF) with coronary heart disease risk.


Prospective case-control study, systematic review and meta-analyses.


Measurements were made in 1925 people who had a first-ever nonfatal myocardial infarction or died of coronary heart disease during follow-up (median 19.4 years) and in 3616 controls nested within the prospective population-based Reykjavik Study.


Age and sex-adjusted odds ratios for coronary heart disease per 1 standard deviation higher baseline level were 1.25 (1.18, 1.33) for t-PA antigen, 1.01 (0.95, 1.07) for D-dimer and 1.11 (1.05, 1.18) for VWF. After additional adjustment for conventional cardiovascular risk factors, corresponding odds ratios were 1.07 (0.99, 1.14) for t-PA antigen, 1.06 (1.00, 1.13) for D-dimer and 1.08 (1.02, 1.15) for VWF. When combined with the results from previous prospective studies in a random-effects meta-analysis, overall adjusted odds ratios were 1.13 (1.06, 1.21) for t-PA antigen (13 studies, 5494 cases), 1.23 (1.16, 1.32) with D-dimer (18 studies, 6799 cases) and 1.16 (1.10, 1.22) with VWF (15 studies, 6556 cases).


Concentrations of t-PA antigen, D-dimer and VWF may be more modestly associated with first-ever CHD events than previously reported. More detailed analysis is required to clarify whether these markers are causal risk factors or simply correlates of coronary heart disease.

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