Smoking, haemostatic factors and lipid peroxides in a population case control study of peripheral arterial disease

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      The aim of this study was to determine differences between cases of peripheral arterial disease and healthy controls in levels of haemostatic factors and lipid peroxides and the influence of cigarette smoking. The study groups were selected from the Edinburgh Artery Study which is a random sample survey of men and women aged 55–74 years. Mean levels of plasma fibrinogen, von Willebrand factor, β-thromboglobulin, plasminogen activator inhibitor (type I), cross-linked fibrin degradation products and lipid peroxides were markedly elevated in 121 study cases compared with 126 age- and sex-matched controls. For example, cross-linked fibrin degradation products had a geometric mean of 106.8 ng/ml (95% confidence interval (CI) 95.3, 119.8) in study cases and 74.7 ng/ml (95% CI 67.0, 83.4) in controls (P < 0.001). Inclusion of smoking in logistic regressions of each factor on peripheral arterial disease significantly reduced the odds of disease for von Willebrand factor and for cross-linked fibrin degradation products, but had little effect on the increased odds associated with fibrinogen, β-thromboglobulin, plasminogen activator inhibitor and lipid peroxides. We conclude that, in men and women in Edinburgh, peripheral atherosclerosis is associated with lipid peroxidation, endothelial disturbance, platelet activation, elevated fibrinogen, fibrin formation and increased inhibition of fibrinolysis. The most important effects of cigarette smoking in promoting atherosclerosis may be endothelial disturbance and fibrin formation.


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