3:50 pm - Saturday February 18, 5465

Research Suggests Low Iron Levels in Blood Raises Risk of Blood Clot


According to research recently published in a health journal, people with low levels of Low Levels of Iron increases the Risk Factor for Blood Clotsiron in the blood have a higher risk of dangerous blood clots. Treating iron deficiency might be important for preventing potentially lethal blood clots, suggests a study of clotting risk factors in patients with an inherited blood vessel disease.

Although some risk factors for blood clots such as major surgery, immobility and cancer are recognized, there is often no clear reason for the blood clot.

Scientists at Imperial College London studied patients with hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) to look for new risk factors for blood clots.

HHT is an inherited disease of the blood vessels, the main symptoms of which are excessive bleeding from the nose and gut.

The paper’s lead author Dr Claire S from the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College London and an honorary consultant at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, said, “Most of our patients who had blood clots did not have any of the known risk factors. We thought that studying people with HHT might tell us something important about the wider population.”

To look for differences between the patients who had blood clots and those who did not Dr Claire S and her team analyzed blood from six hundred and nine patients reviewed at the HHT clinic at Hammersmith Hospital from 1999 to 2011.

Many of the patients had low iron levels because of iron lost through bleeding. Patients who took iron supplements did not have higher risk, suggesting that treatment for iron deficiency can prevent blood clots. The researchers found that low iron levels in the blood were a strong risk factor for blood clots.

Dr Claire S said, “Our study shows that in people with HHT, low levels of iron in the blood is a potentially treatable risk factor for blood clots. There are small studies in the general population which would support these findings, but more studies are needed to confirm this. If the finding does apply to the general population, it would have important implications in almost every area of medicine.”

Dr Claire S said, “We can speculate that in evolutionary terms, it might be advantageous to promote blood clotting when your blood is low in iron, in order to prevent further blood loss.”

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