Risk factors for coronary heart disease (CHD), including prethrombotic changes in hemostasis, cluster with the insulin resistance (IR) syndrome. The aim of the present study was to investigate to what extent the relation between IR and hemostatic risk factors is due to shared genes or environmental factors. Multivariate genetic analysis was performed using a total of 314 (107 monozygotic and 207 dizygotic) twin pairs on IR assessed by HOMA, fibrinogen, plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI-1), tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), factor VIII (FVIII), von Willebrand factor (vWF) and factor XIII Bsubunit. The relationship between IR and the 6 hemostatic factors could best be explained by an independent pathway model consisting of 2 common genetic factors, one of which influenced IR and all hemostatic factors, and 3 common environmental factors, each representing the shared variance between IR and different aspects of the hemostatic system. Genetic correlations between IR and hemostatic proteins were larger than their environmental counterparts. Since IR and prethrombotic changes are features of both diabetes and CHD, the finding of one set of pleiotropic genes warrants the identification of these common pathways which may provide new avenues for treatment and prevention of both diabetes and CHD.