Learning by counting blood platelets in population studies: survey and perspective a long way after Bizzozero

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Summary: Platelet count represents a useful tool in clinical practice to discriminate individuals at higher risk of bleeding. Less obvious is the role of platelet count variability within the normal range of distribution in shaping the individual's disease risk profile. Epidemiological studies have shown that platelet count in the adult general population is associated with a number of health outcomes related to hemostasis and thrombosis. However, recent studies are suggesting a possible role of this platelet index also as an independent risk factor. In this review of adult population studies, we will first focus on known genetic and non-genetic determinants of platelet number variability. Next, we will evaluate platelet count as a marker and/or a predictor of disease risk and its interaction with other risk factors. We will then discuss the role of platelet count variability within the normal distribution range as a contribution to disease and mortality risk. The possibility of considering platelet count as a simple, inexpensive indicator of increased risk of disease and death in general populations could open new opportunities to investigate novel platelet pathophysiological roles as well as therapeutic opportunities. Future studies should also consider platelet count, not only platelet function, as a modulator of disease and mortality risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1711-1721
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis
Volume16
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2018

Keywords

  • blood platelets
  • epidemiology
  • genetics
  • mortality
  • platelet count
  • population

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology

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