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Br J Haematol. 2003 Aug;122(4):645-50.

Does sticky blood predict a sticky end? Associations of blood viscosity, haematocrit and fibrinogen with mortality in the West of Scotland.

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Institute for International Health, University of Sydney, Australia.


There is increasing evidence that blood viscosity and its major determinants (haematocrit, plasma viscosity and fibrinogen) are associated with an increased risk of incident cardiovascular events; however, their associations with mortality are not established. We therefore studied the associations of these variables with cardiovascular events and total mortality in 1238 men and women aged 25-64 years, followed for 13 years in the first North Glasgow MONICA (MONItoring CArdiovascular disease) survey and West of Scotland centres in the Scottish Heart Health Study. After adjustment for age and sex, increasing whole blood viscosity, plasma viscosity, haematocrit and fibrinogen (analysed by both von Clauss and heat precipitation assays) were significantly associated with mortality. Only the association for fibrinogen (von Clauss assay) remained significant after adjustment for major cardiovascular risk factors. We conclude that clottable fibrinogen may be independently associated with mortality. However, the significance of this association, and the extent to which viscosity is associated with mortality, remain to be established in larger studies and meta-analyses.

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