Thrombo-inflammatory biomarkers and D-dimer in a biracial cohort study

Res Pract Thromb Haemost. 2021 Dec 7;5(8):e12632. doi: 10.1002/rth2.12632. eCollection 2021 Dec.


Background: Higher D-dimer is a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases and venous thromboembolism. In the general population, D-dimer and other thrombo-inflammatory biomarkers are higher among Black individuals, who also have higher risk of these conditions compared to White people.

Objective: To assess whether Black individuals have an exaggerated correlation between D-dimer and thrombo-inflammatory biomarkers characteristic of cardiovascular diseases.

Methods: Linear regression was used to assess correlations of 11 thrombo-inflammatory biomarkers with D-dimer in a cross-sectional study of 1068 participants of the biracial Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) cohort.

Results: Adverse levels of most biomarkers, especially fibrinogen, factor VIII, C-reactive protein, N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide, and interleukin (IL)-6, were associated with higher D-dimer. Several associations with D-dimer differed significantly by race. For example, the association of factor VIII with D-dimer was more than twice as large in Black compared to White participants. Specifically, D-dimer was 26% higher per standard deviation (SD) higher factor VIII in Black adults and was only 11% higher per SD higher factor VIII in White adults. In Black but not White adults, higher IL-10 and soluble CD14 were associated with higher D-dimer.

Conclusions: Findings suggest that D-dimer might relate to Black/White differences in cardiovascular diseases and venous thromboembolism because it is a marker of amplified thrombo-inflammatory response in Black people. Better understanding of contributors to higher D-dimer in the general population is needed.

Keywords: D‐dimer; biomarkers; cardiovascular diseases; race; thrombo‐inflammation.