BACKGROUND: Fibrin fragment D-dimer, one of several peptides produced when crosslinked fibrin is degraded by plasmin, is the most widely used clinical marker of activated blood coagulation. To identity genetic loci influencing D-dimer levels, we performed the first large-scale, genome-wide association search. METHODS AND RESULTS: A genome-wide investigation of the genomic correlates of plasma D-dimer levels was conducted among 21 052 European-ancestry adults. Plasma levels of D-dimer were measured independently in each of 13 cohorts. Each study analyzed the association between ≈2.6 million genotyped and imputed variants across the 22 autosomal chromosomes and natural-log-transformed D-dimer levels using linear regression in additive genetic models adjusted for age and sex. Among all variants, 74 exceeded the genome-wide significance threshold and marked 3 regions. At 1p22, rs12029080 (P=6.4×10) was 46.0 kb upstream from F3, coagulation factor III (tissue factor). At 1q24, rs6687813 (P=2.4×10) was 79.7 kb downstream of F5, coagulation factor V. At 4q32, rs13109457 (P=2.9×10) was located between 2 fibrinogen genes: 10.4 kb downstream from FGG and 3.0 kb upstream from FGA. Variants were associated with a 0.099-, 0.096-, and 0.061-unit difference, respectively, in natural-log-transformed D-dimer and together accounted for 1.8% of the total variance. When adjusted for nonsynonymous substitutions in F5 and FGA loci known to be associated with D-dimer levels, there was no evidence of an additional association at either locus. CONCLUSIONS: Three genes were associated with fibrin D-dimer levels. Of these 3, the F3 association was the strongest, and has not been previously reported.

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Journal Circulation (Baltimore)
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Grant This work was funded by the European Commission 7th Framework Programme; grant id fp7/201413 - European Network for Genetic and Genomic Epidemiology (ENGAGE)
Smith, N.L, Huffman, J.E, Strachan, D.P, Huang, J, Dehghan, A, Trompet, S, … Hayward, C. (2011). Genetic predictors of fibrin D-dimer levels in healthy adults. Circulation (Baltimore). doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.110.009480