Knowing your risk factors for developing Deep Vein Thrombosis gives you a better chance to do something about it. Early detection is critical.
Could you be at risk for DVT? Anyone can develop DVT. But no one ever thinks it can happen to them.
Knowing your risk factors is the first step toward prevention. The more factors you have, the greater your risk. If you can say yes to any of the following situations or conditions, you may be at risk for developing DVT.
I was surprised to learn that being on birth control pills put me at risk for DVT.”
- Hospitalization for a medical illness
- Recent major surgery or injury
- Personal history of a clotting disorder or previous DVT
- Pregnancy and the first 6 weeks after delivery
- Increasing age
- Cancer and cancer treatments
- Hormone replacement therapy or birth control products
- Family history of DVT
- Extended bed rest
- Prolonged sitting when traveling (longer than 6 to 8 hours)
While it may seem counterintuitive, hospitalization may be the biggest risk factor for developing DVT/PE. That's because any injury, whether due to surgery or trauma, stimulates the body's natural clotting process.
Pregnancy also increases your risk of developing DVT. Studies show that pregnant women are five times more likely than non-pregnant women to develop DVT, due to higher estrogen levels that make your blood more likely to clot. The risk is even higher in the first six weeks post-partum. While the risks are relatively low, an inherited clotting disorder increases the risk dramatically, as does age and assisted reproductive technologies (ART).
To learn more about DVT and how to reduce your risk, download our Free Fact Sheet.
Once you know where you stand, talk to your doctor or health practictioner about how to reduce your risk—including suggestions for healthier eating excercise, medications, quitting smoking and losing weight.