In a new study, researchers found that high levels of LDL cholesterol (known as ‘bad’ cholesterol) may contribute to a dangerous blood clot condition called venous thromboembolism (VTE).
The research was conducted by a team from the University of Pennsylvania.
VTE is a condition that can form dangerous blood clots in the legs or arms that can break free and travel to the lungs.
It is a big cause of heart disease and disability in the United States and in the world. The condition is most common in adults 60 and older.
Previous research has shown that LDL cholesterol can narrow arteries and lead to heart attacks and strokes. But how it may influence VTE has been unknown.
In the study, the team examined genes and proteins that might influence venous VTE. They studied DNA from people with and without VTE.
They tested 13 million genetic variants and found 26,066 cases of VTE in their database, and found several new factors that might cause VTE.
The new risk factors include LDL cholesterol.
The researchers suggest that their findings provide strong evidence that cholesterol can play an important role in venous disease.
The findings also show that it is possible to use cholesterol-lowering statins to reduce VTE risk. Previous research has shown that treating cholesterol with statins can also help prevent blood clots.
The team hopes their study could help develop new prevention and treatment methods for VTE.
Future work needs to confirm these findings and examine how VTE can best be detected and treated.
The lead author of the study is Dr. Scott Damrauer, a vascular surgeon at the Corporal Michael J. Crescenz Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Philadelphia.
The study was presented at the American Heart Association’s Vascular Discovery Scientific Sessions.
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