Background: Elevated plasma fibrinogen levels are common in dialysis patients and may be related to an elevated risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). We tested the hypothesis that genetic variation in the β-fibrinogen (FGB) gene, shown to explain 1% to 5% of fibrinogen level variation in the general population, has an important role in elevated fibrinogen levels and excess CVD risk in dialysis patients. Methods: Plasma fibrinogen was measured in 735 dialysis patients a median of 3 months from the start of dialysis therapy by using an automated clot-rate assay. Seven polymorphisms of the FGB gene were determined. Haplotype analysis was conducted using the Phase program to estimate haplotypes, with stratification for race. CVD events were ascertained from medical records. Results: During a median follow-up of 2.1 years, 279 CVD events occurred. Genotype frequencies were in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. Four common haplotypes identified were not associated with fibrinogen levels or CVD risk in the entire cohort or after stratification by race. The -455A allele, known to increase gene expression in vitro, was marginally associated with fibrinogen levels only in patients without diabetes (regression coefficient [β], 20 mg/dL [for +1 copy of the A allele; P = 0.06]), adjusted for age, sex, race, smoking, baseline dialysis modality, comorbidity, and history of diabetes and CVD. Post hoc analysis showed that -249C→T (defining haplotype 3) was associated with greater fibrinogen levels and CVD risk among patients without diabetes and current smokers. Conclusion: The FGB gene likely does not have an important role in determining the variation in elevated plasma fibrinogen levels or excess CVD risk in dialysis patients.
- Cardiovascular disease (CVD)
- Cohort studies
- End-stage renal disease (ESRD)
- β-Fibrinogen (FGB) gene
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