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Variations in Coagulation Factors in Women: Effects of Age, Ethnicity, Menstrual Cycle and Combined Oral Contraceptive

Journal: Thrombosis and Haemostasis
ISSN: 0340-6245
Issue: 1999: 82/5 (Nov) pp.1380-1561
Pages: 1456-1461

Variations in Coagulation Factors in Women: Effects of Age, Ethnicity, Menstrual Cycle and Combined Oral Contraceptive

Rezan A. Kadir (1) , Demetrios L. Economides (1) , Caroline A. Sabin (2) , Dale Owens (3) , Christine A. Lee (3)
From the (1) University Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, (2) Department of Primary Care and Population Sciences, (3) Haemophilia Centre and Haemostasis Unit, The Royal Free Hospital, London, UK

Summary

To assess variations of coagulation factors in women, 123 women were included in a cross-sectional study of the effect of age, ethnic origin, blood group and menstrual cycle on surface induced coagulatßion time (activated partial thromboplastin time) and plasma levels of Factor VIII clotting assay, von Willebrand factor antigen, von Willebrand factor activity and factor XI. The effect of menstrual cycle was further assessed in a longitudinal study including 39 Caucasian women, 20 of whom were using combined oral contraceptives. Activated partial thromboplastin time was longer in women with blood groups B or O, and plasma levels of factor VIII clotting assay, von Willebrand factor antigen and von Willebrand factor activity were significantly higher in black women. Fibrinogen, von Willebrand factor antigen and von Willebrand factor activity concentrations showed strong cyclic variations with peak values in the luteal phase. This pattern was dampened for von Willebrand factor antigen and von Willebrand factor activity but completely disappeared for fibrinogen with the use of combined oral contraceptives. There was a cyclical pattern for factor VIII clotting assay in pill users, evidence of which was not evident in non-pill users. There were strong associations between the levels of von Willebrand factor antigen and von Willebrand factor activity and age, with levels rising by an average of 0.17 and 0.15 U/ml, respectively, for each 10 year increase in age. In conclusion, there are great inter- and intraindividual variations in coagulation markers in women due to different physiological conditions such as age, ethnicity, blood group and phases of the menstrual cycle. However, there were no significant associations between coagulation markers and weight, alcohol consumption or smoking status.