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Private MD News - Coagulation and blood clotting disorders

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Blood testing could help isolate genetic disease
Date: 2013-01-16 00:00:00

Some people are more likely to develop blood clots than others. This can be tied to lifestyle choices like diet and exercise, but there are also genetic markers that can indicate whether a person is likely to form clots. Blood tests can show if the tendencies to clot more or hemorrhage are present, as some common disorders in platelet bonding can cause one symptom or the other, though both are tied to the same illness.

Researchers at the Life Sciences Institute recently released the results of a study that looked at genetic ties between family groups, specifically targeting young siblings in order to see the correlation in a specific clotting-related syndrome. Von Willebrand disease is associated with problems in blood cell bonding mechanisms, making people with the condition likely to form clots or bleed profusely, depending on how the condition is expressed. Blood testing was used on this group of people, targeting subjects in their 20s to avoid side effects from factors like prolonged smoking, increased age and poor lifestyle.

They found that those carrying two specific genetic markers on various parts of the chromosome chain would express one kind of Von Willebrand or the other, providing hope that scientists may be able to engineer better treatments in the future now that they know which genetic sequences to target.

Changing the future of clots... Full Story

Is aspirin an effective alternative to costly anticoagulant medications?
Date: 2013-06-05 00:00:00

Blood thinning medication used to prevent blood clots can be costly. However, a recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine has revealed that aspirin may be just as effective for reducing clots, particularly after procedures such as hip replacement surgery.

"If aspirin turns out to be as good as Xarelto [blood thinning medication], given the number of joint [replacement] surgeries done in North America, it could save the health care system millions if it's proven to be at least as effective," said David Anderson, M.D., a professor and head of the department of medicine at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Hip replacement surgery typically leaves people more susceptible to clotting, including serious conditions such as deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.

Anticoagulant medications like heparin are commonly prescribed to help these patients during recovery, but the blood-thinning qualities in aspirin make it a viable and effective alternative to these pricey alternatives.

"I think we have demonstrated that a very simple, inexpensive oral therapy appears to be as good as a more expensive, more potent, less convenient anticoagulant agent for the prevention of blood clots following total hip replacement," Anderson added.

Preventing clots can be difficult, but by understanding particular triggers that may set them off in a person's body, one may have a better opportunity to enjoy good health.

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, adults who have recently had surgery, are over the age of 65, have sustained broken bones, cancer or are obese may be more likely to be affected by clotting than those who have not.

A person can also take charge of your own wellness by undergoing protime tests. Any kind of blood testing that can be done outside of a healthcare provider's office can enable people to gain better insight into overall health.

... Full Story

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