Plasma viscosity, fibrinogen and the metabolic syndrome: Effect of obesity and cardiorespiratory fitness

Sean Carroll, Carlton Cooke, R. J. Butterly

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    28 Citations (Scopus)


    The association between both plasma viscosity and fibrinogen concentration with clustering of metabolic risk markers was examined within a cross-sectional study of employed middle-aged men. Analyses were performed on a subsample of 629 non-smokers (46.7 ± 7.8 years) without diabetes. The effect of obesity and cardiorespiratory fitness on these haemorheological parameters and their association with the metabolic syndrome was also investigated. The cohort was grouped by the number of metabolic markers present. Metabolic markers included high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (< 1.13 mmol/l), triglycerides (≥ 1.805 mmol/l), glucose (≥ 5.5 mmol/l) and diastolic blood pressure (≥ 90 mmHg). The age-adjusted odds ratio for hyperviscosity (≥ 1.67 mPa/s) was 2.08 [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.06- 4.05; P = 0.031] for the subjects with the metabolic syndrome (three or more metabolic markers) when compared with those with no metabolic abnormalities. The comparable age-adjusted odds ratio for hyperfibrinogenaemia (≥ 3.47 g/l) was non-significantly higher at 1.69 (95% CI, 0.87-3.27; P = 0.119). The mean age-adjusted plasma viscosity level and the prevalence of hyperviscosity increased significantly from 1.629 to 1.692 mPa/s (P = 0.0005) and from 21.0 to 36.0% with accumulating metabolic markers (P = 0.006). Plasma viscosity and fibrinogen concentration both increased with higher quartiles of skinfolds (P = 0.003 and P = 0.01, respectively) following adjustment for age, lipids and leucocyte count. Plasma viscosity was also significantly lower with higher levels of predicted maximum oxygen consumption (V̇(O2max)) (P = 0.0005). The odds ratio for hyperviscosity in subjects with the metabolic syndrome as compared with those with no metabolic markers was attenuated following adjustment for age, sum of skinfolds and predicted maximum oxygen consumption (V̇(O2max)) (1.44; 95% CI, 0.72-2.90; P = 0.307). These cross-sectional results suggest that plasma viscosity is associated with increased clustering of metabolic markers in middle-aged men of high socio-economic status. Obesity and poor cardiorespiratory fitness may be important in the development of haemorheological abnormalities associated with the metabolic syndrome. (C) 2000 Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)71-78
    Number of pages8
    JournalBlood Coagulation and Fibrinolysis
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2000


    • Haemorheology
    • Insulin resistance
    • Predicted V̇(Omax)


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