The Edinburgh Artery Study, the largest clinical trial on blood viscosity ever conducted, showed that blood viscosity was significantly higher in adults who had heart attacks and strokes than those who did not. This link was highly significant even after adjustment for age and gender. 

Interestingly, a particularly strong link was demonstrated between blood viscosity and stroke—a link that remained statistically significant after multivariate analysis further adjusting for conventional risk factors. This means that, even after accounting for the impact of conventional cardiovascular risk factors like blood pressure, LDL cholesterol, and smoking, blood viscosity was demonstrated to be an independent, diagnostic predictor for stroke. 

As a separately published analysis of the Edinburgh Artery Study, blood viscosity was shown to be linearly related to common carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) (p≤0.001), and upon multivariate analysis, blood viscosity remained significantly associated with carotid IMT (p≤0.01) 


Lowe GD, Lee AJ, Rumley A, et al. Blood viscosity and risk of cardiovascular events: the Edinburgh Artery Study. Br J Haematol 1997; 96:168-73. 

Lee AJ, Mowbray PI, et al. Blood viscosity and elevated carotid intima-media thickness in men and women: the Edinburgh Artery Study. Circulation. 1998; 97:1467-73.

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