Inflammation and thrombosis are important mechanisms in cardiovascular disease, as illustrated by the consistent association between inflammatory and hemostatic variables and the risk of cardiovascular events in epidemiological studies. However, the relationship between plasma concentrations of inflammatory and hemostatic markers and the severity of atherosclerosis is not yet well studied. We have evaluated 325 men and 370 women of 60 years, participating in the Danish Glostrup study. We diagnosed atherosclerosis by ultrasonographic measurement of intima-media thickness (IMT) of the right carotid artery and the assessment of plaque occurrence. Plasma samples were analyzed for the concentration of C-reactive protein (CRP), fibrinogen, D-dimer, plasminogen activator inhibitor type-1 (PAI-1) antigen and activity, tissue-type plasminogen activator (t-PA) antigen and activity, factor VII (FVII) antigen, FVII coagulant activity (FVII:C) and activated FVII (FVIIa). DNA variations were determined for fibrinogen, PAI-1, t-PA, FVII, factor XIII and methylene tetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR). Subjects with high IMT (upper 10% of distribution, n=63) had higher CRP levels [2.2 mg L -1 (SE 0.3)] than subjects with IMT in the lowest tertile (n=217) [1.7 mg L -1 (SE 0.1), P=0.04], whereas there was no association between the hemostatic variables and IMT. There was an association between fibrinogen and D-dimer concentrations and number of plaques (P<0.01), whereas there were no associations between CRP and the other hemostatic variables and the number of plaques. Genetic variation in the t-PA and MTHFR gene was associated with IMT. In conclusion, in the Glostrup population study, thrombosis and inflammation are associated with the severity of atherosclerosis, as reflected by IMT and plaque occurrence.