The contribution of obesity to the occurrence of cardiovascular events may not be wholly related to its influence on traditional risk factors. Coagulation and fibrinolysis may also influence cardiovascular risk, but the relationship of adiposity with these processes is unclear. The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationships of BMI (body mass index), waist circumference, hip circumference and WHR (waist-to-hip ratio) with VIIc (factor VII activity), plasma markers of thrombin generation [F1+2 (prothrombin fragment 1+2)], fibrin formation [SF (soluble fibrin)] and fibrin turnover (D-dimer), and PAI-1 (plasminogen activator inhibitor-1; a marker of fibrinolytic inhibitory capacity). The study cohort was 80 healthy postmenopausal women who were not diabetic, current smokers or taking hormone therapy and who had a fasting sample of blood collected. VIIc, F1+2, SF and PAI-1 were all positively correlated with BMI, waist circumference and WHR, whereas D-dimer was positively correlated with waist circumference and WHR, but not BMI. WHR was the strongest correlate of all the markers except for PAI-1, which was most closely related to BMI. Hip circumference became a negative correlate of F1+2 and D-dimer after adjusting for waist circumference. The relationships of WHR with F1+2 and SF, but not with VIIc and D-dimer, were independent of traditional risk factors. The positive association between waist circumference and markers of thrombin generation, fibrin production and fibrin turnover suggests that abdominal adiposity may contribute to atherothrombosis by activating intravascular coagulation. In contrast, a larger hip circumference appears to have a protective affect against coagulation activation.

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