Deep Vein Thrombosis: Are you at risk?

March is DVT Awareness Month

Deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, occurs when a blood clot forms in the large veins of the legs or pelvic region. If the clot breaks loose and travels to the lungs, a pulmonary embolism (PE) may result.legs2_DVT

An estimated 900,000 people are affected by deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism each year, so identifying a person’s risk factors is important in preventing DVT. If you’re at risk, in most cases you can modify and reduce that risk.

Who’s at risk?

Risk factors for DVT and PE include:

  • Advanced age
  • Active cancer and cancer treatments
  • Immobility, paralysis
  • Recent trauma, surgery or hospitalization
  • Family history or personal history of DVT or PE
  • Pregnancy and the period around delivery
  • Oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapies
  • Obesity
  • Chronic medical conditions
  • Infections
  • Inherited and acquired blood clotting abnormalities
  • Smoking (in some studies) Continue reading