Genetic Blood Mutation detected in almost one in five in Abu Dhabi hospital
An estimated five per cent of the global population carries the mutant gene
Abnormal blood protein is present in 20-40 per cent of all blood clot cases
Mafraq Hospital, which is owned and operated by the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company PJSC (SEHA), today revealed that nearly one in five patients diagnosed with blood clots at the facility over the past two and a half years carries a genetic protein mutation known as Factor V Leiden. The protein mutation is an abnormal version of a blood protein and is considered one of the most common genetic risk factors for blood clotting.
The seventy-two individuals diagnosed with thrombosis in the two and a half year period were from Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Palestine, UAE, India and Pakistan and ranged in age from 20-72 years. Of those testing positive for Factor V Leiden – 17 per cent – eighty three per cent fell within the age range of 22-35 years.
Dr. Mohamed Yaman, Chief Medical Officer Mafraq Hospital, commented: “Those testing positive for Factor V Leiden are at a higher risk for embolism (dislodged blood clots) and resulting complications, including stroke, heart attack, and even death.”
Dr. Anwar Sallam, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Mafraq Hospital, added: “By screening for this mutation, our expert team of hemaopathologists is able to identify at-risk patients and educate them before a serious problem occurs. At Mafraq Hospital, we believe strongly in the power of proactive patient care and the subsequent effect it has on improved quality of life, reduced medical costs and enhanced medical care.”
Factor V Leiden was first discovered in the Netherlands in 1994, and a simple screening test is able to determine the presence or absence of the mutation, which, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) is said to exist in roughly five per cent of the population. The test is now one of the most common blood tests performed by clinical laboratories across the world. Factor V Leiden positive patients may carry either one or two copies of the gene, which results in a seven-fold to 50-fold higher risk of clotting respectively.
A significant portion of the population is at risk of suffering from blood clots, especially diagnosed cancer patients, the obese, pregnant women, post-operative patients and those taking hormone replacement therapy or oral contraceptives. At-risk patients, can however, adopt a number of precautionary measures and practices to prevent clots before they develop.
Dr. Amira Mahmoud Aly, Hemaopathologist, Mafraq Hospital explained: “When a patient tests positive for the Factor V Leiden gene, we schedule an appointment to discuss the risks associated with the condition, and suggest precautionary measures to prevent future complications. We recommend all patients maintain a healthy body weight, avoid smoking and excessive drinking, participate in physical activity and avoid immobility for extended periods of time. We also encourage all patients to advise their doctors and surgeons of their condition prior to surgery.
“If blood clots run in the family, or a patient has reason to believe he or she may be at risk, I would encourage them to consult their doctor.”
The Mafraq Hospital Medical Laboratory & Pathology Department is staffed by a team of three full time Hematopathologists and led by Dr. Eiman Al Zaabi. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week and completes an average of 220,000 tests annually.