To investigate associations of procoagulants (FVII, FVIII, von Willebrand factor [vWF]) with subclinical atherosclerosis, we examined participants in The Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study.
Clotting factor assays were performed in 1254 participants ages 23–37 (baseline) and repeated at ages 38–50 (follow-up). Carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) was measured at follow-up.
Baseline levels of procoagulants (%): mean (SD) were: FVII: 76(18), FVIII: 102(38), and vWF: 108(47). At follow-up, all had increased by 40%–55%. After age adjustment, mean common carotid (CC) IMT increased from the lowest to the highest tertile of FVII in the total group (0.787 to 0.801, P=0.007), in whites (0.772 to 0.790, P=0.002), and in men (0.807 to 0.827, P=0.015). All associations were attenuated by multivariable adjustment. However, participants with FVII values in the highest tertile at one or both examinations, as compared with those in the lowest tertile, had greater CC-IMT after age and multivariable adjustment (0.806 versus 0.778, P<0.05). Baseline FVIII was associated with greater internal carotid (IC) IMT in the total group, in whites, and in women after age but not multivariable adjustment. No associations were seen for vWF.
FVII is associated with CC-IMT in young adults, but the strength of the association is modified by other cardiovascular disease risk factors, such as body mass index. FVIII is associated with IC IMT only in age-adjusted analyses, and no associations were observed for vWF.