The aim of this study was to investigate correlates of fibrinogen concentration in black South Africans, as well as its association with cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk and whether urbanisation influences this association. A total of 1,006 rural and 1,004 urban black South Africans from the PURE study were cross-sectionally analysed. The association of fibrinogen with CVD risk was determined by investigating the association of fibrinogen with other CVD risk markers as well as with predicted CVD risk using the Reynolds Risk score. The rural group had a significantly higher fibrinogen concentration than the urban group, despite higher levels of risk factors and increased predicted CVD risk in the urban group. Increased levels of CVD risk factors were, however, still associated with increased fibrinogen concentration. Fibrinogen correlated significantly, but weakly, with overall predicted CVD risk. This correlation was stronger in the urban than in the rural group. Multipleregression analysis showed that a smaller percentage of the variance in fibrinogen is explained by the traditional CVD risk factors in the rural than in the urban group. In conclusion, fibrinogen is weakly associated with CVD risk (predicted overall risk as well with individual risk factors) in black South Africans, and is related to the degree of urbanisation. Increased fibrinogen concentration, in black South Africans, especially in rural areas, is largely unexplained, and likely not strongly correlated with traditional CVD-related lifestyle and pathophysiological processes. This does, however, not exclude the possibility that once increased, the fibrinogen concentration contributes to future development of CVD.

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Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Pieters, M., de Maat, M., Jerling, J., Hoekstra, T., & Kruger, A. (2011). Fibrinogen concentration and its role in CVD risk in black South Africans-effect of urbanisation. Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis, 106(3), 448–456. doi:10.1160/TH11-03-0192