There is little information on the relation of plasma fibrinogen concentration to the risk of coronary heart disease in Asians, including Japanese, whose plasma fibrinogen concentration has been reported to be low by Western standards. The authors conducted a prospective study with 4.8 years of follow-up of 11,977 men and women aged 21-89 years (mean value of fibrinogen = 267 mg/dl) living or working in Osaka, Japan, in 1990-1996 to examine the relation of plasma fibrinogen with the incidence of coronary heart disease (myocardial infarction and angina pectoris). Mean fibrinogen concentration was 293.6 mg/dl for men who developed coronary heart disease (n = 35) compared with 261.6 mg/dl for men free of coronary heart disease (n = 8,094; difference, p < 0.01), and 355.2 mg/dl for women who developed coronary heart disease (n = 6) compared with 276.8 mg/dl for women free of coronary heart disease (n = 3,842; difference, p < 0.01). With a Cox proportional hazards model to adjust for cardiovascular risk factors, the relative risk for the highest fibrinogen quartile (≥295 mg/dl) compared with the lowest (<228 mg/dl) was 4.8 (95% confidence interval: 1.4, 16.8, p = 0.01) for coronary heart disease, and 3.8 (95% confidence interval: 1.1, 13.4, p = 0.04) for myocardial infarction. Plasma fibrinogen is useful to predict the risk of coronary heart disease among urban Japanese, whose mean plasma fibrinogen is relatively low.
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