This study attempted to verify the existence of a correlation between fibrinogen, a major cardiovascular risk factor in diabetes, and indexes of thrombin generation and action, prothrombin fragment 1 + 2 (F1 + 2), and D-dimer (D-D), in a group of diabetic subjects compared with a matched control group. Forty insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus patients and 30 matched healthy control subjects participated in this study. The subjects were tested for the following parameters: fibrinogen, prothrombin F1 + 2, D-D, fasting glycemia, and HbA1c. In addition, 5 diabetic subjects who maintained stable fibrinogen plasma levels > 300 mg/dl for at least 6 months before the study were treated with 12,500 U/day subcutaneous heparin for 7 days. Diabetic subjects showed increased levels of fibrinogen, prothrombin F1 + 2, and D-D plasma levels. Simple linear regression analysis detected a positive correlation between fibrinogen and prothrombin F1 + 2, D-D, and glycosylated HbA1c. In the five diabetic subjects treated with heparin fibrinogen, prothrombin F1 + 2 and D-D levels decreased at the end of the treatment. All these parameters returned to baseline after 7 days of washout. These data indicate that fibrinogen plasma levels are correlated to parameters of thrombin activation in plasma in diabetic patients and suggest that high fibrinogen plasma levels might be a risk marker for cardiovascular disease in diabetes because it is an expression of an existing thrombophilia.

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