Blood Rheology Associated with Cardiovascular Risk Factors and Chronic Cardiovascular Diseases: Results of an Epidemiologic Cross-sectional Study

Koenig, Wolfgang; Ernst, Edzard; Matrai, Arpad
November 1988
Angiology;Nov1988, Vol. 39 Issue 11, p986
Academic Journal
As part of an epidemiologic crosssectional study to determine cardiovascular (CV) risk factors in the population (total serum cholesterol, smoking, blood pressure, and body weight) hemoglobin (Hb) and plasma viscosity (PV) were measured. A two-stage cluster sample of 5,312 persons, aged twenty-five to sixty-four (available 5,069) was selected from a mixed urban-rural target population of 282,279 inhabitants, from which 4,022 (79.3%) participated in the study. Patients with chronic myocardial infarction (MI), cerebral infarction (CI), angina pectoris (AP), and peripheral arterial disease (PAD) were identified by questionnaire. The results show that there is no age or sex dependency of PV in healthy participants, while hemoglobin shows the well-known sex difference. In contrast, PV increases continuously with age in the total population. In men, increased PV is found in untreated hypertension, in hypercholesterolemia, and in smokers. In women, it is raised in hypercholesterolemia and in gross obesity. Male MI patients and patients of both sexes after CI in particular show statistically significantly elevated PV. Finally, in male patients with chronic AP or patients of both sexes with PAD, PV is elevated and a tendency to higher Hb values is seen. These results confirm smaller clinical trials suggesting that blood fluidity is pathologically altered in patients with CV risk factors or diseases. Since impaired blood fluidity may worsen the hemodynamic situation, in particular in patients with limited vasomotor reserve, hemorheologic parameters may be of prognostic relevance. Therapeutic implications of these findings should be considered.


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