Cardiovascular problems? Ask your doctor to check your fibrinogen level.

by Dr. Stephen Sinatra
Filed Under: Heart Health
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

Fibrinogen is a coagulation-type protein that determines the stickiness of your blood by enabling your platelets to stick together.

You need adequate fibrinogen levels to stop bleeding when you’ve been injured, but higher-than-normal fibrinogen levels have been associated with too much blood clotting and are an independent heart risk factor. You see, by itself, a high fibrinogen level can cause a heart attack.

If you have a family history of cardiovascular problems, you must check your serum fibrinogen level to predict your risk. And because the tendency toward a high fibrinogen level can be a genetic trait, be sure to assess your fibrinogen level if any close relative has coronary atherosclerosis.

Women who smoke, take oral contraceptives, or are postmenopausal usually have higher fibrinogen levels and should also get this simple test done. Fibrinogen levels rise with falling estrogen levels, and research suggests that natural estrogen replacement therapy can significantly reduce fibrinogen levels.

As with all heart risk factors, you increase your chances of having a healthy fibrinogen level when you exercise regularly, minimize stress, and adhere to a good cardiovascular nutrition program.

For more information on circulatory problems, preventing blood clots, or other cardiovascular problems, visit www.drsinatra.com.
 

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