Hematocrit and the risk of coronary heart disease mortality in the TAMRISK study, a 28-year follow-up

T. Kunnas, T. Solakivi, K. Huuskonen, A. Kalela, Jaana Renko, Seppo T. Nikkari (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate whether hematocrit (HCT) is associated with coronary heart disease (CHD) mortality in men over 55 years of age in Finland.

METHODS: Health survey data were recorded in 1980 from 670 men, aged 55 years. The causes of deaths during a 28-year follow-up were obtained from official records. Statistical comparisons were done by Cox proportional hazard regression model after dividing the men into two groups, one with HCT<50% and the other, HCT> or =50%.

RESULTS: There were altogether 412 deaths of all causes, including 140 from CHD. In men having HCT<50%, the crude CHD mortality rate per 10,000 population was 2203, while in men with HCT> or =50%, the corresponding figure was 4255. Men with HCT> or =50% were 2.4 times (95% CI 1.6-3.5) more likely to die from CHD than were men with HCT<50%. After adjusting for established coronary risk factors, the increased risk remained 1.8-fold (95 % CI, 1.1-2.7).

CONCLUSIONS: Borderline polycythemia was associated with increased CHD mortality. The cut-off value in our study was > or =50%, proposing that for men over 55 years of age such HCT levels might be an additional risk factor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-7
Number of pages3
JournalPreventive Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2009
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Aged
  • Biomarkers/blood
  • Cause of Death
  • Coronary Disease/blood
  • Finland/epidemiology
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Surveys
  • Hematocrit
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polycythemia/blood
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Survival Analysis


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