Background The presence of Type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) is one of the strongest predictors of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in women. Although the specific mechanisms underlying this increased risk are unknown, one factor that may contribute to CVD in women with Type 2 DM is impaired fibrinolysis. Healthy premenopausal women have a low rate of CVD and excellent fibrinolytic potential. Impairment in fibrinolysis in people with DM has been demonstrated mainly in men, whereas the fibrinolytic potential of women with Type 2 DM has not been characterized well. This pilot study compared fibrinolytic measures in premenopausal women and men with DM with those of healthy age-matched control women and men to help determine whether fibrinolysis is abnormal in women with DM.
Methods Fibrinolytic measurements included euglobulin clot lysis time (ELT), fibrinogen, plasminogen activator inhibitor 1, and tissue-type plasminogen activator.
Results Poststasis ELT was significantly impaired in the women with DM as compared with the control women. The men with DM had a tendency toward slower poststasis ELT than did the control men, but the differences between the men's groups were not significant. In the women's groups only, we observed a trend toward increased plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 among the women with DM.
Conclusions Women with DM have a more significant abnormality in poststasis ELT than do men with DM as compared with sex-specific counterparts without DM.