Cytomegalovirus infection, lipoprotein(a), and hypercoagulability: An atherogenic link?

F. Javier Nieto, Paul Sorlie, George W. Comstock, Kenneth Wu, Erwin Adam, Joseph L. Melnick, Moyses Szklo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A link between cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection and atherosclerosis has been suggested by experimental, clinical, and epidemiologic studies. We investigated the association between CMV antibody titers in serum collected in 1974 in 300 adult residents in Washington County, Md, and hemostatic parameters in plasma collected in 1987 through 1989, when these individuals participated in the baseline examination of the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study. The cross-sectional association of CMV serum antibodies and hemostatic parameters was also explored in another set of Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities cases and controls. In the longitudinal analyses, CMV titers in 1974 were directly associated with 1987 through 1989 plasma levels of von Willebrand factor, factor VIII, and protein C and negatively associated with activated partial thromboplastin time. In the cross-sectional analyses, CMV titers were directly related to antithrombin III and fibrinogen levels. When the association between CMV antibodies and atherosclerosis was examined in stratified analyses, a significant association was restricted to individuals with high levels of lipoprotein(a) and fibrinogen. These results are compatible with previous evidence suggesting that CMV virus might have procoagulant properties. The possible synergism of CMV infection and resulting hypercoagulability with reduced fibrinolysis due to increased lipoprotein(a) levels deserves further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1780-1785
Number of pages6
JournalArteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1997


  • Atheroselerosis
  • Cytomegalovirus
  • Fibrinogen
  • Hemostasis
  • Lipoprotein(a)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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