Plasma viscosity and its biochemical predictors: Associations with lifestyle factors in healthy middle-aged men

Sean Carroll, Carlton Cooke, R. J. Butterly

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    The association of lifestyle factors and biochemical variables with plasma viscosity was examined in a sample of middle-aged males of high social status. Analyses were performed on a subsample of men that had relevant rheological and biochemical variables determined during a preventive medical assessment conducted between 1992 and 1996. Among 622 subjects (64 smokers), measures of physical activity or predicted VO(2max) and adiposity (sum of subcutaneous skinfolds) were the lifestyle factors significantly associated with plasma viscosity (both P < 0.001). Among the biochemical variables, serum total protein and plasma fibrinogen concentrations accounted for most of the explained variability in plasma viscosity within subjects (combined adjusted r2 = 65.5%). Logarithm-transformed triglyceride, leukocyte count and serum globulin together contributed an additional 3.0% of the variance in plasma viscosity. Serum total protein, in triglycerides and leukocyte count decreased significantly across higher quartiles of predicted VO(2max) (all P < 0.0001), with trends towards lower fibrinogen and globulin concentrations (P= 0.054 and P = 0.050, respectively). Higher levels of adiposity were also significantly associated with higher levels of serum total protein (P < 0.0001), globulin (P < 0.0001), fibrinogen (P < 0.01), leukocyte count (P < 0.05), and triglycerides (P < 0.0001). The association of lifestyle factors with the biochemical predictors of plasma viscosity may result directly from a pro-inflammatory state of adipose tissue origin and/or a larger plasma volume related to higher levels of cardiorespiratory fitness. Randomised controlled trials of the effects of regular physical activity of different intensities on plasma viscosity, with reference to body composition, are now required. (C) 2000 Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)609-616
    Number of pages8
    JournalBlood Coagulation and Fibrinolysis
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2000


    • Coronary heart disease
    • Maximum oxygen consumption
    • Obesity
    • Plasma proteins


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