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Clin Exp Med. 2004 Apr;3(4):231-5.

Fibrinogen levels in hypercholesterolemic smokers and non-smokers in relation to age and gender.

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Department of General Practice and Care and Public Health Research Institute, University of Maastricht, Maastricht, The Netherlands.


Elevated total cholesterol and plasma fibrinogen levels and smoking are risk factors for cardiovascular disease, whose inter-relationships are influenced by both gender and age. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of smoking on fibrinogen levels in a hypercholesterolemic population subdivided on the basis of gender and age. The study included 492 hypercholesterolemic subjects, divided into four subpopulations: men and women, aged 26-49 and 50-66 years. Mean fibrinogen levels among smokers and non-smokers in the four subpopulations of this hypercholesterolemic cohort followed mean total cholesterol levels. Three subpopulations (men <50 years, men >/=50 years and women >/=50 years) showed differences in mean total cholesterol and fibrinogen values between smokers and non-smokers (total cholesterol 7.23+/-0.54 vs. 7.40+/-0.93 mmol/l and fibrinogen 2.79+/-0.48 vs. 3.23+/-0.72 g/l in men <50 years; total cholesterol 7.17+/-0.43 vs. 7.50+/-0.60 mmol/l and fibrinogen 3.11+/-0.44 vs. 3.68+/-0.66 g/l in men >/=50 years and 7.41+/-0.59 vs. 7.65+/-0.73 mmol/l and fibrinogen 3.29+/-0.61 vs. 3.58+/-0.71 g/l in women >/=50 years). These values correspond to a percentage difference between smokers and nonsmokers in total cholesterol and fibrinogen of 2.4% and 15.8% in men <50 years, 4.6% and 18.3% in men >/=50 years and 3.2% and 8.8% in women >/=50 years. All differences were significant ( P<0.05), except for total cholesterol in the younger men (<50 years). No differences between smokers and non-smokers were observed in the younger female group (<50 years). Except in the younger female group (<50 years), significant differences between smokers and non-smokers were also observed in the number of subjects exceeding the upper reference value of fibrinogen (>4.0 g/l), the highest percentage being found for the older women smokers (>/=50 years) (29%). In Conclusion, smoking elevates fibrinogen levels in hypercholesterolemic men (<50 years; >/=50 years) and older women (>/=50 years), but not in younger women (<50 years).

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