In a new study it was revealed that low iron levels in people can raise their risk of a stroke. This happens by making the blood sticky. Investigators looked at the data from about 500 people with any rare hereditary disease that could cause them to have enlarged vessels in their lungs. Usually the blood vessels in the lungs do not allow clots to be entering the arteries, but in these patients it was found that the clots escaped the lungs and then travelled to the brain. This caused them a stroke.
People suffering from iron deficiency also had stickier platelets. These are small blood cells that tend to trigger clotting when they stick together, and also were more likely to suffer from a stroke. The research was conducted by researchers at the Imperial College London in the U.K.
Dr. Claire Shovlin from the National Heart and Lung Institute at the Imperial College London said, "Since platelets in the blood stick together more if you are short of iron, we think this may explain why being short of iron can lead to strokes, though much more research will be needed to prove this link. The next step is to test whether we can reduce high-risk patients' chances of having a stroke by treating their iron deficiency. We will be able to look at whether their platelets become less sticky.”
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