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DVT RISK FACTORS AND PREVENTION

Anyone can get deep vein thrombosis (DVT), but certain factors can increase your risk. Find out about the risk factors for DVT and ways to help prevent another blot clot below. And be sure to talk to your doctor about ways to help reduce your chances of DVT.

RISK FACTORS FOR DVT

Knowing the risk factors for DVT can help you make healthier choices to reduce your chance of developing a dangerous blood clot. DVT risk factors include:

  • A personal or family history of having DVT 
  • Older age (risk increases after age 60, but DVT can happen at any age)
  • Hormone therapy for birth control or to reduce postmenopausal
    symptoms
  • Pregnancy and up to 6 weeks after childbirth
  • Injury due to surgery, a broken bone, or other trauma
  • Prolonged lack of movement due to hospitalization, illness, injury, paralysis, or lengthy travel

  • Recent or ongoing treatment for cancer
  • Respiratory or heart failure
  • Inflammatory bowel disease, such as ulcerative colitis or 
    Crohn’s disease
  • Inherited blood disorders that make your blood thicker or more likely to clot than normal
  • Varicose veins
  • A central venous catheter
  • Obesity (body mass index, or BMI, greater than 30kg/m2)
  • Smoking

WAYS TO REDUCE YOUR RISK FOR DVT

The good news is that if you’re at risk for DVT, you can take the following steps to help reduce your risk:

  SEE YOUR DOCTOR FOR REGULAR CHECKUPS  

  TAKE ALL YOUR MEDICATION AS DOCTOR PRESCRIBES

  QUIT SMOKING  

  MANTAIN A HEALTHY WEIGHT  

  MOVE AROUND AFTER SURGERY, INJURY, OR ILLNESS  

  MOVE REGULARLY ON TRIPS THAT ARE 4+ HOURS  

TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR



FROM UNDERSTANDING YOUR RISK OF COMPLICATIONS TO FINDING OUT ABOUT YOUR TREATMENT OPTIONS, OUR DOCTOR DISCUSSION GUIDE HAS IMPORTANT QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR DOCTOR TO HELP CLEAR UP THE CONFUSION ABOUT DVT.

KEEP THE CLARITY COMING WITH EMAIL UPDATES

  1. Cheng Y-J, Liu Z-H, Yao F-J, et al. Current and Former Smoking and Risk for Venous Thromboembolism: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Lowe G, ed. PLoS Medicine. 2013;10(9):e1001515. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001515. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3775725/. Accessed October 14, 2015.
  2. James AH. Venous thromboembolism in pregnancy. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 2009;29:326-331. doi:10.1161/ATVBAHA.109.184127. http://atvb.ahajournals.org/content/29/3/326.full#content-block. Accessed October 14, 2015.

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