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13-09-2009 | Cardiology | Article

Variant alleles confer increased risk for VTE in elderly


Free abstract

MedWire News: Variants coagulation genes may contribute to the increased risk for venous thromboembolism (VTE) found in older individuals, US researchers suggest.

The team found that VTE in patients over the age of 65 years was associated with variant or minor alleles of genes encoding factor (F)XIII subunit A (F13A), the FVII activating protease (HABP2), protease activated receptor (F2R), and the urokinase receptor (PLAUR).

Acknowledging the rising risk for VTE with increasing age, the team examined the relationship between 209 common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 51 thrombosis and inflammation genes and risk for VTE in elderly adults.

The team genotyped 5386 participants of the Cardiovascular Health Study, 184 of who developed VTE at an average age of 78 years.

As reported in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis, individuals carrying the rs3024409 variant allele of F13A were 1.66 times more likely to experience VTE than individuals with the most common allele.

In addition, minor alleles of HAPBP2 (r6585234 and rs3862019), F2R (rs253061 and rs253311), and PLAUR (rs344782) were associated with a reduced risk for VTE, with hazard ratios of 0.49, 0.62, 0.56, 0.64, and 0.66, respectively.

 The researchers also found that the HAPB2 rs3862019 allele was associated with lower plasma levels of coagulation factors FVIII, FIX, FX, and plasminogen.

“Further epidemiologic studies are needed to validate these findings in other populations and assess the functional molecular mechanisms,” write Alex Reiner (University of Washington, Seattle) and co-authors.

“Ultimately, a better understanding of the risk factors for venous thrombosis may improve prevention and treatment of VTE in high-risk individuals and groups of patients, such as older adults,” they conclude.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a part of Springer Science+Business Media. © Current Medicine Group Ltd; 2009

By Lynda Williams

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