Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Haemostatic variables associated with diabetes and its complications.

Br Med J 1979; 2 doi: (Published 20 October 1979) Cite this as: Br Med J 1979;2:964
  1. J H Fuller,
  2. H Keen,
  3. R J Jarrett,
  4. T Omer,
  5. T W Meade,
  6. R Chakrabarti,
  7. W R North,
  8. Y Stirling


    To study the possible role of an "increased thrombotic tendency" in the vascular complications of diabetes several tests of haemostatic function were carried out on 91 men and 63 women with diabetes aged 35-54 years and the results compared with findings in 686 men and 393 women of the same age in the Northwick Park Heart Study. Mean values for factors VII and X, fibrinogen, and platelet adhesiveness were higher in the diabetics, but mean fibrinolytic activity and whole blood platelet counts were lower. Antithrombin III values were also higher in the diabetics, which may have constituted a protective response to other changes favouring the onset of vascular disease. Diabetics with retinopathy had higher factor VII and antithrombin III values, and those with proteinuria had higher values for factor VII, fibrinogen, and platelet adhesiveness than those without these complications. These findings suggest a potentially important association between a thrombogenic tendency and vascular disease in diabetes. Nevertheless, prospective data are needed to clarify whether the haemostatic abnormalities precede the onset of clinically manifest vascular complications or are a consequence of them.