Heritability of Hemostasis Phenotypes and Their Correlation with Type 2 Diabetes Status in Mexican Americans

Hypercoagulation often occurs in type 2 diabetes, suggesting pleiotropy of the genes that influence disease liability and hemostasis-related phenotypes. To better understand the relationship between hemostasis and diabetes, we first used maximum-likelihood methods to estimate the relative contribution of additive genetic, measured environmental, and shared household effects to the normal variance of 16 hemostasis-related traits in 813 individuals participating in the San Antonio Family Heart Study. We estimated moderate to high heritabilities (0.20–0.60) for each phenotype. Von Willebrand factor (VWF), thrombin activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor, activated protein C (APC) ratio, factor V, and prothrombin time had heritabilities greater than 0.50. The correlation between type 2 diabetes status and the hemostasis-related traits was then partitioned into genetic and environmental components using bivariate variance-components methods. Significant (p le0.05) positive genetic correlations (0.37–0.51) occurred with factors II and VIII, VWF, total protein S (tPS), and tissue factor pathway inhibitor. Significant negative genetic correlations were estimated for activated partial thromboplastin time (-0.49) and APC ratio (-0.38). By contrast, significant environmental correlations occurred only with factor II (-0.40) and tPS (-0.31). Our results suggest that genes are important contributors to the normal variation in hemostasis-related traits and that genes influencing hemostasis-related traits pleiotropically influence diabetes risk.