oa Cardiovascular Journal of Africa - Fibrinogen - a cardiovascular risk factor
At least 6 prospective epidemiological studies have provided evidence that a raised plasma fibrinogen level is a major and independent risk factor for coronary heart disease, myocardial infarction and stroke. The plasma concentrations of fibrinogen are reviewed. Smoking habit, hyperlipidaemia, use of oral contraceptives, job stress and insulin resistant states, such as obesity and diabetes mellitus, are all associated with raised levels. Measurement of plasma fibrinogen could possibly improve the ability to predict future cardiovascular events in individuals. Treatment of raised levels through changes in lifestyle, such as stopping smoking and losing weight, may lead to better primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease in high-risk individuals. However, standardisation of methodology, establishment of normal ranges, and more research on lifestyle factors and therapeutic measures that influence levels are urgently needed.
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