Background: The purpose of this study was to examine the correlations between plasma levels of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) and tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) and cardiovascular disease-related traits in a general population and whether these correlations differed between females and males. Methods: Plasma PAI-1 and t-PA antigen levels and C-reactive protein (CRP), HDL-cholesterol, triglycerides, total cholesterol, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, urinary albumin excretion, and glucose were measured in the population-based PREVEND study in Groningen, the Netherlands (n = 2527). Results: Except for CRP and total cholesterol levels, all traits were significantly different between gender (P<0.001). PAI-1 levels were correlated with all measured cardiovascular disease-related traits (P<0.01) in both females and males. Except for urinary albumin excretion, similar results, albeit less significant, were found for t-PA levels. Age-adjusted correlations between PAI-1 and CRP, triglycerides, total cholesterol, systolic blood pressure, and diastolic blood pressure differed significantly between females and males (P<0.01). Many of the gender differences were predominantly present between premenopausal females and males. Conclusion: PAI-1 and t-PA levels were correlated with cardiovascular disease-related traits in subjects obtained from the general population and several of these correlations differed across gender. The correlations found in the present study suggest the presence of coordinated patterns of cardiovascular risk factors and indicate which traits might influence PAI-1 and t-PA levels and thereby provide a framework and potential tool for therapeutic intervention to reduce thromboembolic events in the general population.
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