Gender differences in blood thrombogenicity in hyperlipidemic patients and response to pravastatin
Thrombotic risk in hyperlipidemic women and its response to lipid therapy is unknown. We prospectively studied 28 men and 29 women with high low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol during 6 months of therapy with pravastatin. Women had significantly higher high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (54.2 +/- 1.7 vs 39.5 +/- 2.2 mg/dl, p <0.01), lower prevalence of coronary artery disease (41% vs 67%, p = 0.04), and otherwise similar baseline characteristics compared with men. Both genders achieved a 33% reduction in LDL at 6 weeks (188 +/- 6 to 133 +/- 5 mg/dl) and maintained similar LDL levels throughout the study. Systemic hemostatic markers and thrombus formation under dynamic flow conditions were evaluated at baseline, and at 3 and 6 months of follow-up. Prothrombin fragment F1.2, a marker of thrombin generation, was higher in women versus men at baseline (2.4 +/- 0.2 vs 1.4 +/- 0.3 nmol/L, p = 0.02). The levels decreased in women to 2.0 +/- 0.3 nmol/L at 3 months and to 1.6 +/- 0.2 nmol/L at 6 months (p <0.045, analysis of variance), whereas it remained unchanged in men. Plasminogen activator inhibitor-I significantly decreased at 3 and 6 months of follow-up: by 12.6% and 18.7%, respectively, in women, and by 18.8% and 23.5%, respectively, in men. Similarly, tissue plasminogen activator decreased significantly by 7.4% in women and 11.8% in men at 6 months compared with baseline. Fibrinogen showed an increase in both genders at follow-up. Thrombus formation was similar at baseline between the 2 genders, and decreased at 3 and 6 months compared with baseline by 12.5% and 29.5% in women, and by 18.6% and 19.4% in men (p <0.04 at 6 months vs baseline in both men and women). Other markers, including C-reactive protein, fibrinopeptide A, D-dimer, and factor VIIa, did not differ between genders and did not change with therapy. Thus, despite higher HDL, and lower incidence of coronary disease, women with high LDL had a comparable thrombotic and/or fibrinolytic profile to men and even evidence of increased thrombin generation at baseline. Blood thrombogenicity was reduced with pravastatin in both genders; in addition, thrombin generation was gradually reduced in women to a level similar to that of men by 6 months of follow-up.