Primary antiphospholipid antibody syndrome—one further aspect of thrombophilia in overweight and obese patients with venous thromboembolism


Correspondence: Thomas Gary (


Objective: Overweight and obesity are established risk factors for venous thromboembolism (VTE). We examined the difference in the frequency of primary antiphospholipid antibody syndrome (PAPS) in VTE patients according to their BMI.

Design and Methods: We included 998 VTE patients treated at our institution between 2009 and 2011 in a retrospective data analysis. Thrombophilia screening including evaluation for APS (lupus anticoagulant, anti-cardiolipin, and anti-B2-glycoprotein-I IgG and IgM antibodies) was performed in all patients.

Results: PAPS was diagnosed in 6.8% (24/355) of normal weight (BMI < 24 kg/m2) VTE patients, in 11.1% (50/452) of overweight (BMI 25–30 kg/m2) VTE patients, and in 15.7% (30/191) of obese (BMI > 31 kg/m2) VTE patients. The difference of PAPS occurrence between these groups was statistically significant (P = 0.001). PAPS patients demonstrated higher fibrinogen levels as compared to non-PAPS patients (median 416.0 md/dl vs. 352.0 mg/dl, P = 0.001). Furthermore, fibrinogen levels increased significantly according to the body weight of patients (median normal weight patients 330.0 mg/dl vs. overweight patients 359.0 mg/dl vs. obese patients 415.0 mg/dl, P = 0.001).

Conclusion: PAPS seems to be more frequent in overweight and obese patients. As PAPS patients showed significantly higher fibrinogen levels and as fibrinogen levels increased significantly according to the body weight of patients, an elevated inflammatory state in overweight and obese patients as a reason for the increased PAPS occurrence can be assumed.