Low Serum Iron Ups Blood Clot Risk in At-Risk Population

Low serum iron tied to coagulation factor VIII, VTE risk in hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia

FRIDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia, low serum iron levels are associated with elevated plasma levels of coagulation factor VIII and the risk of venous thromboemboli (VTE), according to a study published online Dec. 14 in Thorax.

John A. Livesey, from the Imperial College School of Medicine in London, and colleagues investigated reversible biomarkers associated with high factor VIII, and evaluated their potential significance in a specific at-risk population. For 609 patients with hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (recruited prospectively in two series) associations were assessed between factor VIII and patient-specific variables, including markers of inflammation and iron deficiency. The age-specific incidence rates of radiologically-proven pulmonary emboli/deep venous thromboses were assessed.

The investigators found that there was an inverse association between factor VIII and serum iron in each series, which remained after adjusting for age, inflammation and/or von Willebrand factor. There was an association between low serum iron levels and VTE, with an age-adjusted odds ratio of 0.91 for each 1 µmol/liter increase in serum iron. This correlated with a 2.5-fold increase in the risk of VTE for a serum iron concentration of 6 µmol/liter versus the mid-normal range of 17 µmol/liter. After adjustment for factor VIII, the correlation between VTE and iron was no longer seen.

"In this population, low serum iron levels attributed to inadequate replacement of hemorrhagic iron losses are associated with elevated plasma levels of coagulation factor VIII and venous thromboembolic risk," the authors write.

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