A meta-analysis of potential risks of low levels of protein Z for diseases related to vascular thrombosis

Francesco Sofi, Francesca Cesari, Rosanna Abbate, Gian Franco Gensini, George Broze, Sandra Fedi

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43 Scopus citations


The relationship between protein Z levels and thrombosis is controversial. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of the available studies to assess the association between protein Z and vascular thrombotic diseases. We conducted an electronic literature search through MedLine, Embase, Google Scholar, Web of Science, The Cochrane Library, bibliographies of retrieved articles and abstracts of congresses up to October, 2009. Studies were included if they analysed protein Z levels in patients with vascular thrombotic diseases. After the review process, 28 case-control studies (33 patient cohorts), including 4,218 patients with thrombotic diseases and 4,778 controls, were selected for analysis. The overall analysis using a random-effects model showed that low protein Z levels were associated with an increased risk of thrombosis (odds ratio [OR] 2.90, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.05-4.12; p<0.00001). On subgroup analysis, a significant association was found between low protein Z levels and arterial vascular diseases (OR 2.67, 95%CI 1.60-4.48; p=0.0002), pregnancy complications (OR 4.17, 95%CI 2.31-7.52; p<0.00001), and venous thromboembolic diseases (OR 2.18, 95%CI 1.19-4.00; p=0.01). The results of this metaanalysis are consistent with a role for protein Z deficiency in thrombotic diseases, including arterial thrombosis, pregnancy complications and venous thromboembolism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)749-756
Number of pages8
JournalThrombosis and haemostasis
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2010


  • Coagulation
  • Meta-analysis
  • Protein Z
  • Thrombosis


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