Lower levels of vWF are associated with lower risk of cardiovascular disease

P.C.S. van Paridon, M. Panova-Noeva, R. van Oerle, A. Schulz, J.H. Prochaska, N. Arnold, I. Schmidtmann, M. Beutel, N. Pfeiffer, T. Munzel, K.J. Lackner, H. ten Cate, P.S. Wild, H.M.H. Spronk*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objective The current study was undertaken to prospectively explore whether having low levels of von Willebrand factor (vWF) antigen and vWF activity reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease and death. Methods VWF antigen and vWF activity were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and an immunological-based assay, respectively, in a subsample of 4857 individuals aged between 35 and 74 years old, enrolled between April 2007 and October 2008 in the population-based Gutenberg Health Study. VWF antigen and activity below the 20th percentile was set as a measure of "low vWF." Adjusted robust Poisson regression models were used to analyze the relation between low vWF and the incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Consequent adjusted cox regression models as well as cumulative incidence plots were calculated to explore the relation between all-cause and cardiovascular mortality and low vWF. Results VWF activity levels <20th percentile (i.e., <76.2%) were associated with a decreased relative risk for CVD (RR: 0.59, 95% CI: 0.37-0.95), despite adjusting for age and sex. After adjusting for levels of F-VIII, the association persisted (RR: 0.60, 95% CI: 0.36-0.99). The cumulative incidence plots demonstrated that vWF antigen <20th percentile significantly correlated with decreased cardiovascular mortality. VWF antigen<20th percentile (i.e., <83%) was significantly associated with lower risk of all-cause mortality, despite adjusting for clinical factors (RR: 61, 95% CI: 0.41-0.91). Conclusion The study demonstrated that having low vWF activity levels were associated with a lower risk for CVD. Additionally, it revealed a decreased risk of cardiovascular and all-cause mortality in individuals with low levels of vWF antigen, shining new light on vWF as a potential target for novel therapies.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12797
Number of pages9
JournalResearch and practice in thrombosis and haemostasis
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2022


  • cardiovascular diseases
  • general population
  • incidence
  • thrombosis
  • von Willebrand factor

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