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BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Fibrinogen is an independent risk factor for coronary events in population-based studies and in patients with coronary heart disease, but there is uncertainty about prediction of stroke, particularly in secondary prevention. METHODS: We studied unpublished data from 3 prospective studies of patients with recent transient ischemic attack (TIA) or minor ischemic stroke: the United Kingdom TIA Aspirin (UK-TIA) trial (n=1860); the Dutch TIA trial (n=2960); and the Oxford TIA Study (n=293). By separate and pooled analysis, we used Cox models to determine the relationship between fibrinogen and risk of ischemic stroke and other vascular events during 23,272 patient-years of follow-up and adjusted for other risk factors. RESULTS: There was no significant heterogeneity in fibrinogen risk associations between studies. Fibrinogen predicted subsequent ischemic stroke, with a pooled hazard ratio (HR) for values above the median of 1.34 (95% CI, 1.13 to 1.60; P=0.001). The association tended to be stronger in patients with nonlacunar (HR=1.42; 95% CI, 1.13 to 1.78; P=0.002) than lacunar syndromes (HR=1.09; 95% CI, 0.80 to 1.49; P=0.58), but was not significantly so (P=0.18). There was no association with hemorrhagic stroke (adjusted HR=1.09; 95% CI, 0.55 to 2.17; P=0.81). Fibrinogen predicted acute coronary events (adjusted HR=1.42; 95% CI, 1.18 to 1.70; P<0.001) and all ischemic vascular events (adjusted HR=1.31; 95% CI, 1.15 to 1.49; P<0.001), but not nonvascular death (adjusted HR=1.24; 95% CI, 0.90 to 1.70; P=0.19). CONCLUSIONS: In patients with a previous TIA or ischemic stroke, risks of recurrent ischemic stroke and acute coronary events increase linearly with fibrinogen levels, but the relationships are weaker than in some previous population-based studies.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





2300 - 2305


Aged, Female, Fibrinogen, Humans, Ischemic Attack, Transient, Male, Meta-Analysis as Topic, Middle Aged, Myocardial Infarction, Proportional Hazards Models, Risk Factors, Stroke