Dense blood clots were linked to an increased risk of premature death from cardiovascular and other causes.

Dialysis patients may have altered blood clots that increase their risk of dying prematurely, according to a study, entitled “Clot structure – a potent mortality risk factor in hemodialysis patients,” published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN).

A team led by Katharina Schütt, MD, and Georg Schlieper, MD, from RWTH University Aachen, in Germany, analyzed the blood of 171 chronic hemodialysis patients, they found that the patients tended to have a denser clot structure than individuals without kidney disease. In addition, patients with such compact clots had an increased risk of dying from cardiovascular causes as well as an increased risk of dying from other causes.

Finally, dialysis patients’ fibrinogen—a protein that is converted into fibrin during blood clot formation—exhibited certain modifications that were different from fibrinogen from patients without kidney disease.

“Whether better dialysis treatment or medication could improve clot structure needs to be investigated in future studies,” said Schütt.