Differences in genetic influence on death from CHD between males and females have been reported. Haemostatic factors have consistently been associated with risk for coronary heart disease (CHD), but sex differences in genetic architecture have not been studied. This study in middle-aged twins investigates whether there are sex differences in means and in genetic and/or environmental variance components of haemostatic risk factors for CHD. A total of 93 monozygotic twin pairs (44 male and 49 female) and 116 dizygotic twin pairs (36 male, 40 female and 40 opposite sex) were available for this study. Structural equation modelling was used to estimate the relative influence of genetic and environmental factors on variation in levels of fibrinogen, tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) antigen and von Willebrand factor (vWF). Mean levels of tPA vWF increased with age. Oral contraceptive pill (OCP) and menopause had significant influences on levels of fibrinogen and tPA. Genetic influences explained 39, 66 and 72% of the variation in levels of fibrinogen, tPA and vWF, respectively. No quantitative or qualitative differences of genetic influences on haemostatic levels were seen between males and females. Haemostatic factor may account for a significant part of the genetic risk for cardiovascular disease. No difference in genetic architecture for levels of fibrinogen, tPA or vWF was observed between males and females. © 2006 Schattauer GmbH, Stuttgart.
- Netherlands Twin Register (NTR)