Metabolic syndrome linked to high risk of blood clot

In a new study, researchers found that people with metabolic syndrome—a set of conditions including obesity, impaired glucose metabolism, elevated levels of fats and cholesterol in the blood, and high blood pressure—are more likely to experience recurrent blood clots.

They found in patients diagnosed with a type of blood clot known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT), those who also had markers of metabolic syndrome were more likely to experience another venous thromboembolism (VTE) event.

Furthermore, as the number of metabolic syndrome conditions that the patients exhibited increased, so too did their likelihood of experiencing VTE recurrence.

This is the largest study of DVT patients to date to show that metabolic syndrome plays an important role in VTE recurrence.

The research was conducted by a team at Indiana University and elsewhere.

Obesity continues to become more widespread worldwide; increasing along with obesity is the prevalence of metabolic syndrome, which is now estimated to afflict about 34% of the U.S. population.

Previous studies have suggested the syndrome can be tied to a higher risk of an initial VTE event.

In the study, the researchers used a statewide database, the Indiana Network for Patient Care, to analyze 151,054 patients diagnosed with DVT between 2004-2017.

They examined four metabolic syndrome components—hypertension (high blood pressure), hyperlipidemia (high levels of fat in the blood), diabetes (high levels of sugar in the blood), and obesity—and found that 68% of DVT patients had also been diagnosed with at least one of those conditions.

The presence of comorbid metabolic syndrome was associated with a 17% increase in the overall likelihood of blood clot recurrence.

The team also found that the risk of subsequent blood clots increased with each additional metabolic syndrome component: patients without any of the four markers for metabolic syndrome had a VTE recurrence rate of 7%.

Those patients who had been diagnosed with one component of metabolic syndrome were found to be at a 14% risk of additional blood clots, followed by 21% risk among patients with two components, 30% for those with three components, and 37% for those diagnosed with all four components.

The researchers say that addressing comorbid metabolic syndrome conditions among DVT patients may alleviate or prevent some of the harmful effects of VTE recurrence.

The study underscores the need for further research into co-treating metabolic syndrome in addition to prescribing anticoagulants.

Physicians may now want to consider checking other boxes—is the patient’s hypertension being addressed? Is the hyperlipidemia, the glucose intolerance? Have I talked to the patient about exercise and diet?

The findings also suggest that metabolic syndrome may have an even greater effect on VTE risk than observed and that the effect may have been minimized due to anticoagulant therapy.

The lead author of the study is Lauren K. Stewart, MD, of the Indiana University School of Medicine’s Department of Emergency Medicine.

The study is published in Blood Advances.

Copyright © 2019 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.