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Anesth Analg. 2006 Jan;102(1):313-8.

Women with red hair report a slightly increased rate of bruising but have normal coagulation tests.

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Outcomes Research Institute and the Department of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky 40202, USA.


There is an anecdotal impression that redheads experience more perioperative bleeding complications than do people with other hair colors. We, therefore, tested the hypothesis that perceived problems with hemostasis could be detected with commonly used coagulation tests. We studied healthy female Caucasian volunteers, 18 to 40 yr of age, comparable in terms of height, weight, and age, with natural bright red (n = 25) or black or dark brown (n = 26) hair. Volunteers were questioned about their bleeding history and the following tests were performed: complete blood count, prothrombin time/international normalized ratio, activated partial thromboplastin time, platelet function analysis, and platelet aggregation using standard turbidimetric methodology. Agonists for aggregation were adenosine diphosphate, arachidonic acid, collagen, epinephrine, and two concentrations of ristocetin. The red-haired volunteers reported significantly more bruising, but there were no significant differences between the red-haired and dark-haired groups in hemoglobin concentration, platelet numbers, prothrombin time/international normalized ratio, or activated partial thromboplastin time. Furthermore, no significant differences in platelet function, as measured by platelet function analysis or platelet aggregometry, were observed. We conclude that if redheads have hemostasis abnormalities, they are subtle.

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