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Ann Hematol. 2013 Apr;92(4):543-8. doi: 10.1007/s00277-013-1679-3. Epub 2013 Jan 29.

Changes of plasma vWF level in response to the improvement of air quality: an observation of 114 healthy young adults.

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Department of Hematology, Peking University First Hospital, Beijing, China.


Plasma von Willebrand factor (vWF) is an important factor involving in hemostasis and various cardiovascular diseases. Air pollution is related to many respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. During the Olympic Games Beijing 2008 period (August 8 to September 17, 2008) when air quality in Beijing improved greatly, we studied the relationship between plasma vWF level and the factors of air pollution index (API), ABO blood group, and polymorphisms in vWF gene in healthy young adults. We recruited 114 healthy medical students. In a period of more than 4 months around the period of Olympic Games Beijing 2008, six blood samples at stages 1 and 2 (before Olympic Games), stages 3 and 4 (during Olympic Games), and stages 5 and 6 (after Olympic Games) were taken from every participant for the measurement of plasma vWF level and genotyping of three SNPs (rs7954855, rs7965413, and rs216311) in vWF gene. Daily air pollution index near their living places was obtained from the officially published data. The average API began to decrease from stage 2, reached to nadir in stages 3 and 4, and increased but was still lower in stages 5 and 6. Plasma vWF decreased during the experimental period in all participants. The average plasma vWF decreased from stage 2 and remained lower in stages 3-6. vWF level varied greatly among the participants (from 30 to 170 %) but decreased proportionately when we analyzed their levels individually. Participants with O blood type had lower plasma vWF level than those with A, B, and AB blood types. Those with the SNP in vWF gene causing homozygous threonine at codon 1381 had lower plasma vWF level than those with homozygous alanine or heterozygous alanine/threonine. In the 114 normal individuals, the average plasma vWF level decreased during the period of Olympic Games Beijing 2008 when air quality improved greatly. This suggests that control of air pollution may be useful to prevent some diseases such as cardiovascular diseases.

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