PAI-1 Plasma Levels in a General Population Without Clinical Evidence of Atherosclerosis: Relation to Environmental and Genetic Determinants

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Abstract

Plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) plasma levels have been consistently related to a polymorphism (4G/5G) of the PAI-1 gene. The renin-angiotensin pathway plays a role in the regulation of PAI-1 plasma levels. An insertion (I)/deletion (D) polymorphism of the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) gene has been related to plasma and cellular ACE levels. In 1032 employees (446 men and 586 women; 22 to 66 years old) of a hospital in southern Italy, we investigated the association between PAI-1 4G/5G and the ACE I/D gene variants and plasma PAI-1 antigen levels. None of the individuals enrolled had clinical evidence of atherosclerosis. In univariate analysis, PAI-1 levels were significantly higher in men (P<.001), alcohol drinkers (P<.001), smokers (P=.009), and homozygotes for the PAI-1 gene deletion allele (4G/4G) (P=.012). Multivariate analysis documented the independent effect on PAI-1 plasma levels of body mass index (P<.001), triglycerides (P<.001), sex (P<.001), PAI-1 4G/5G polymorphism (P=.019), smoking habit (P=.041), and ACE I/D genotype (P=.042). Thus, in addition to the markers of insulin resistance and smoking habit, gene variants of PAI-1 and ACE account for a significant portion of the between-individual variability of circulating PAI-1 antigen concentrations in a general population without clinical evidence of atherosclerosis. (Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 1998;18:562-567.)

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