oa Cardiovascular Journal of Africa - Increased plasma fibrinogen with age - eugeriatric or pathogeriatric phenomenon?



The level of plasma fibrinogen, a risk factor for stroke and coronary heart disease, is reported to increase with age. It is not known whether this increase is an 'eugeriatric' process, influenced by time only, or whether' underlying chronic disease in the elderly is responsible. In this study, plasma fibrinogen levels of 113 'healthy', well-nourished elderly white subjects (mean age 71,5 � 5,4 years in men and 72,5 � 5,5 years in women) were compared with that of 20 - 30, 31 - 45 and 46 - 64-year-old men (N = 279) and women (N = 172) of the same ethnic and socio-economic background. Mean levels of the elderly men (2,50 � 0,71 g/l) and women (2,24 � 0,49 g/l) were not higher than levels of the younger subjects. The results suggest that reported raised fibrinogen levels in the elderly may be because of underlying chronic disease and not because of the ageing process per se.


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