A new study conducted by researchers at Queen Mary University of London has revealed that women who have a specific gene mutation, use estrogen, and have common medical conditions such as obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and kidney disease may face an increased risk of blood clots.
The study found that women with the Factor V Leiden (FVL) gene mutation who were prescribed estrogen had more than double the risk of blood clotting compared to those without the mutation. In addition, women who carried the FVL gene, were prescribed estrogen, and had two or more medical conditions had a significantly higher risk of blood clots compared to those with only one or none of these factors.
Furthermore, the study showed that women with obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and kidney disease had an eight times greater chance of experiencing a blood clot compared to those without these conditions. The presence of three medical conditions increased the risk by five times, while two conditions doubled the risk.
One significant finding of the study was that one in three women with the FVL gene mutation and three of the medical conditions examined experienced a blood clotting event.
The research analyzed the health data of 20,048 British-Bangladeshi and British-Pakistani women from the Genes & Health project, a community-based genetics study. While the individual factors of estrogen use, the FVL gene mutation, and common medical conditions are known risk factors for blood clots, this study is the first to examine the combined risk of these factors on blood clot prevalence.
The study’s lead author, Dr. Emma Magavern from Queen Mary University of London, emphasized the importance of providing women with all the necessary information to make informed decisions. She also highlighted the significance of the findings for South Asian women with multiple existing health conditions.
Professor Sir Mark Caulfield, also from Queen Mary University of London, noted that genetic testing for the FVL gene mutation could provide individuals with a clearer understanding of their personalized risk for blood clots if they are prescribed estrogen.
This research expands our understanding of the factors that contribute to the risk of blood clots in women, particularly those with specific gene mutations, estrogen use, and common medical conditions. It underscores the importance of considering all these factors together to identify individuals who may be at a higher risk of experiencing this potentially life-threatening complication.
Source: Emma Magavern et al, iScience (2023). Queen Mary, University of London.