(Ivanhoe Newswire) – People who have higher levels of a certain
protein in their urine may be more likely to experience dangerous blood
clots in their legs or lungs.
That’s the take home message from Dutch researchers who followed more than
8,500 people over about an 8-year period. Those with higher levels of
albumin in their urine were significantly more likely to develop venous
thromboembolism, or VTE. Overall, 3 percent of people with higher levels
albumin – known as microalbuminuria -- had a VTE during the study, versus
just 1 percent of those with normal levels of the protein. Microalbuminuria
is known to affect proteins involved in clotting of the blood.
“The fact that microalbuminuria has a high prevalence in the general
population (7.2 percent) suggests that on the population level,
microalbuminuria may be an important risk factor for VTE,” write the
The good news is microalbuminuria can be treated by nonanticoagulant
medications, which means the treatment would not raise the risk for
“Future studies are needed to evaluate the effect of these drugs on the risk
of VTE,” conclude the researchers.
The risk for VTE rises with age, with the incidence coming in at less than
0.005 percent in people under the age of 15 and increasing to as high as 0.5
percent in 80-year-olds. Slower blood flow and changes in blood composition
are major risk factors, but in many cases no risks can be found. This study
may help explain at least some of those cases.
SOURCE: The Journal of the American Medical Association, published online
May 5, 2009