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JAMA. 1994 Sep 28;272(12):929-33.

Association of moderate alcohol consumption and plasma concentration of endogenous tissue-type plasminogen activator.

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Division of Preventive Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA 02215-1204.



To assess whether an association exists between moderate alcohol consumption and plasma concentration of endogenous tissue-type plasminogen activator (t-PA), a serine protease that plays a central role in the regulation of intravascular fibrinolysis.


Survey of self-reported alcohol consumption and plasma fibrinolytic capacity, controlled for lipid and nonlipid cardiac risk factors.


Participants in the Physicians' Health Study.


A total of 631 apparently healthy male physicians aged 40 to 84 years with no history of myocardial infarction, stroke, or transient cerebral ischemia.


Plasma concentration of t-PA antigen.


A direct association was found between alcohol consumption and plasma level of t-PA antigen, such that mean plasma levels of t-PA antigen for daily, weekly, monthly, and rare or never drinkers were 10.9, 9.7, 9.1, and 8.1 ng/mL, respectively (P trend = .0002). The relation between alcohol consumption and t-PA antigen level was not materially changed in analyses that adjusted for total cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol or nonlipid cardiovascular risk factors including age, body mass index, parental history of coronary heart disease, exercise frequency, and systolic and diastolic blood pressure.


These data indicate a positive association between moderate alcohol intake and plasma level of endogenous t-PA antigen that is independent of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. This finding supports the hypothesis that changes in fibrinolytic potential may be an important mechanism whereby moderate alcohol consumption decreases risk of heart disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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