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January 15, 1982

Platelets and the Environment

JAMA. 1982;247(3):345-350. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320280061034

IN THE past two decades, a body of evidence has accumulated to suggest that the formed elements of the blood may play roles in a variety of disease states other than those usually considered to be hematologic diseases. Thus, a role for the platelet in atherogenesis has become accepted,1 and the concept has prompted large clinical trials of antiplatelet agents for secondary prophylaxis in myocardial infarction and stroke2-9; evidence for a similar role for granulocytes and monocytes is beginning to unfold.10-14 At the same time, another body of evidence has accumulated that links environmental effects to disease states, in many cases the same disease states for which a role of the formed elements of the blood has been shown. Thus, behavioral factors, lipid and sodium content of the diet, smoking, work load, pollutant exposure, and and personality type have all attracted attention for possible association with atherosclerosis.