Genes, coagulation and cardiovascular risk

M. B. Donati, F. Zito, A. Di Castelnuovo, Licia Iacoviello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Coronary artery disease (CAD) is a multifactorial disease influenced by both genetic and environmental determinants. Coagulation activation plays a key role in thrombus formation and variation in its factors has been associated with the risk of CAD. The levels of these factors are genetically determined and polymorphisms in their genes can also be responsible for disease development. Three polymorphic alleles of coagulation factor VII (FVII) gene have been associated with a protective effect on the risk of familial myocardial infarction. Their distribution in Europe covaries across populations with the rate of myocardial infarction mortality, being higher in countries (like Italy, Spain, Greece) at low risk. These polymorphisms are major determinants of FVII variability in humans. They can also determine the response of FVII to environmental stimuli. Indeed, they modulate the association between triglycerides or smoking and FVII, while a gender-dependent regulation of FVII, probably related to sexual hormones, has also been described. Interestingly, lowering the plasma levels of FVII with low dose warfarin to the same low normal range as that associated with the 'protective' genotypes, results in protection against ischaemic heart disease, reducing mortality in high risk men.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-372
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Human Hypertension
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Coronary artery disease
  • Factor VII
  • Genetic polymorphisms
  • Thrombosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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