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New research by scientists in the United Kingdom has found that iron deficiency increases your chance of suffering a stroke by making the blood stickier.

In a study published in the journal PLOS ONE, researchers from the Imperial College London acknowledged previous research which indicated that iron deficiency can be a risk factor for ischemic stroke -- which occurs when small blood clots interrupt blood flow to the brain -- in both adults and children. To find out why, the team analyzed iron levels of 497 patients with hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) -- a rare disease that can lead to enlarged blood vessels in the lungs, Medical News Today reported.

In their study, the team explained that healthy blood vessels usually are able to filter out small clots before they travel to arteries. But in HHT, the blood vessels sometimes allow small clots to remain in arteries; some of those clots can eventually travel to the brain.