Objective: To determine whether activation of coagulation increases in parallel with inflammation and whether coagulation activation markers (CAMs) are independently associated with coronary heart disease (CHD), in the prospective study, NPHSII.
Methods: Surveillance of 2997 men between 50 and 63 years yielded 314 first CHD events during 36507 person-years of observation. The plasma levels of activated factor XII (FXIIa), the peptides released upon activation of factor X (FXpep) and factor IX (FIXpep), activated factor VII (FVIIa), prothrombin fragment 1 + 2 (F1 + 2) and fibrinopeptide A (FpA) served as indices of activity along the coagulation pathway. C reactive protein (CRP) provided a marker of inflammatory activity.
Results: While borderline or significant correlations were identified for each CAM with inflammation, as determined by CRP levels, these did not reach as high a numerical value as was shown for fibrinogen with CRP. FVIIa and FIXpep possessed independent associations with CHD: a one SD increase in adjusted FIXpep and FVIIa level was associated with a relative hazard of 1.20 (95% CI 1.00-1.43) and 0.70 (CI 0.58-0.86), respectively, using a group including all CHD events, compared with 'no-event'.
Conclusions: Inflammation has significant but minimal impact upon CAMs of the extrinsic coagulation pathway. Reduced FVIIa and increased FIXpep levels were found to be significant, independent, predictors of CHD.