Researchers from University of Limerick Graduate Entry Medical School have linked elevated blood levels of the protein fibrinogen with an increased risk of death in kidney disease patients. Fibrinogen is produced by the liver and aids in blood clot formation. Doctors typically measure fibrinogen levels to diagnose bleeding issues or to test for heart disease. Too much fibrinogen can indicate atherosclerosis and can cause arterial clotting. Study subjects with abnormal kidney function had higher fibrinogen levels than the general population, and those with high levels had more than a 50% increased risk of death. The scientists hope that fibrinogen testing may one day become routine, allowing earlier diagnosis and interventions for kidney disease patients at high risk of heart attack, stroke, and premature death.
UL Study Advises Simple Blood Test Could Help Earlier Detection of Fatal Outcomes in Patients with Kidney Disease, Medical News Today, May 8, 2014