Blood clots can block veins or arteries, which can lead to life-threatening complications such as a stroke and heart attack. Some women are more prone to developing blood clots than others. A new study from Queen Mary University of London has uncovered the cause of blood clot prevalence among women. They have identified some factors that can increase the risk of formation of blood clots in women. These include Factor V Leiden (FVL) gene mutation, estrogen use, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and kidney disease.
Higher incidence of blood clots was seen in women who have the combination of these factors: gene mutation, oestrogen use along with the common medical conditions.
The presence of FVL gene mutation substantially increases the risk
According to the study published in iScience, women with this FVL and who were prescribed oestrogen were twice as likely to develop blood clotting as women who did not have this mutation.
Nearly 20% of the women who carry FVL gene mutation, who were prescribed oestrogen and had two medical conditions suffered a blood clot. In comparison, only around 5% of women without the FVL gene, but taking oestrogen and having two conditions suffering a clotting event.
Additionally, the study found that women with obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and kidney disease (four medical conditions together) were 8 times more likely to suffer blood clotting compared to women with none of these conditions.
For women with three medical conditions, they have a five times greater chance of suffering a blood clot and those with two medical conditions have a two times greater chance.
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As pee the study, the presence of the FVL gene mutation seemed to a significant risk factor for developing blood clots in women.
One in three women with FVL gene mutation and who also had three of the medical conditions suffered a blood clotting event.
Lead author Dr Emma Magavern stated that though oestrogen is very safe and its benefits outweigh its side effects when it's prescribed, it could be life-threatening for women with FVL gene mutation and common medical conditions associated with blood clot formation.
Professor Sir Mark Caulfield from the university highlighted the importance of genetic testing of the FVL gene mutation in women who are prescribed oestrogen to assess the risk of blood clotting.