Fibrinogen and Factor VII in the Prediction of Coronary Risk

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Abstract Coronary thrombosis is regarded as the final occlusive event in the progress of coronary heart disease (CHD). Disturbances of the hemostatic system may favor this process and thus may indicate increased risk of myocardial infarction. Coagulation and lipid factors were measured in 2116 healthy male participants of the Prospective Cardiovascular Miinster (PROCAM) study. After 6 years of follow-up, 82 coronary events (9 sudden cardiac deaths and 14 fatal and 59 nonfatal myocardial infarctions) were observed. The mean plasma fibrinogen levels of the event and nonevent groups differed by 0.25 g/L (2.88 [SD, 0.68] versus 2.63 [SD, 0.63] g/L, respectively; P=.001). The incidence of coronary events in the upper tertile of the plasma fibrinogen distribution was 2.4-fold higher than in the lower tertile. By multiple logistic function analysis, plasma fibrinogen was found to be an independent risk indicator for CHD (P<.05). Individuals in the high serum low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol tertile who also showed high plasma fibrinogen concentrations had a 6.1-fold increase in coronary risk. Unexpectedly, individuals with low plasma fibrinogen had a low incidence of coronary events even when serum LDL cholesterol was high. The mean factor VIIc activities in the event and nonevent groups did not differ significantly (112.3% [SD, 19.9] versus 108.4% [SD, 21.6]; P=.09). There was, however, a trend toward higher factor VIIc values when only fatal events were taken into account. Thus, higher levels of plasma fibrinogen markedly increased the predictive power of high serum LDL cholesterol. Low plasma fibrinogen is associated with low coronary risk even when LDL is raised.

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