Deep Vein Thrombosis Risk Factors

dvtexampleThere are many factors that increase your risk of developing deep vein thrombosis. These factors include:

  • Sitting for extended periods, such as flying or driving, or prolonged bed-rest. Your calf muscles don’t contract when your legs are still for a long time. This muscle contraction helps blood circulate. Clots can form in your calves if these muscles don’t move.
  • Some people inherit a disorder that can allow their blood to clot more easily. This condition usually does not cause issues, unless it is combined with other risk factors.
  • Surgery or injury to your veins can decrease blood flow. Additionally, general anesthesia used during surgery can cause veins to dilate, increasing the risk of clotting or blood pooling.
  • During pregnancy, pressure is placed on the legs and pelvis. Women who also have an inherited clotting disorder are at high risk. The risk for clots can remain for up to 6 weeks after delivery
  • Some forms of cancer increase the chances of clotting. Certain cancer treatments also increase the possibility of blood clots.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease increases risks of deep vein thrombosis.
  • Heart failure presents risks because the heart won’t pump blood as well as an undamaged heart.
  • Hormone replacement therapy or birth control pills increase the body’s potential to cause clots.
  • Pacemakers or vein catheters can decrease blood flow and irritate the walls of the blood vessel.
  • A family history of Deep Vein Thrombrosis or pulmonary embolism increases the risk of developing DVT.
  • Being obese or overweight increases the pressure on veins.
  • People over the age of 60 are at a higher risk for deep vein thrombosis.
  • Smoking affects circulation and clotting.
  • Men who are tall appear to be at a higher risk of blood clots; however, tall women do not have this same risk.