OBJECTIVE--To determine the relations of plasma fibrinogen to family history of premature heart disease, personal history of hypertension, diabetes, stroke, coronary heart disease, and to presence of intermittent claudication. DESIGN--Random population survey across 22 local government districts in Scotland. PARTICIPANTS--10,359 men and women aged 40 to 59 years. Plasma fibrinogen was measured in 8824. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE--Plasma fibrinogen concentration. RESULTS--Persons with a family history of heart disease or a personal history of high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, or presence of intermittent claudication all had higher plasma fibrinogen concentrations than those without. When compared with participants without cardiovascular or related disease (men: 2.27 (SE = 0.01) g/l, n = 3367; women 2.34 (0.01) g/l, n = 3096), predefined cases of either myocardial infarction (men: 2.51 (0.02) g/l, n = 248; women: 2.63 (0.04) g/l, n = 72) or angina (men: 2.45 (0.02) g/l, n = 394; women: 2.50 (0.02) g/l, n = 398) had significantly higher plasma fibrinogen concentrations (p < 0.001). After adjustment for 10 other coronary risk factors, there was a noticeable linear trend in the odds ratios for myocardial infarction across all quartiles (quarters) of plasma fibrinogen concentrations in both sexes. Similarly, the risk of angina increased linearly with increasing fibrinogen concentrations, although the test for a linear trend was NS among women. CONCLUSIONS--This large population study confirms that plasma fibrinogen is not only a risk factor for coronary heart disease and stroke, but it is also raised with family history of premature heart disease and with personal history of hypertension, diabetes, and presence of intermittent claudication.
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