Deep Vein Thrombosis

How much do you know about Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)?

Causes of DVT

The blood clots of deep vein thrombosis can be caused by anything that prevents the blood from circulating or clotting properly, such as injury to a vein, limited movement, and use of certain medications.

Genetics

Some of the other causes that increase the chances of DVT include acquired and genetic risk factors. Family and twin studies indicate that genetics may be about 60% of the risk for DVT. If a parent or sibling had DVT, chances are that an individual is more at risk. If both parents have been diagnosed, the chances may even be higher

Age

Age plays as a very high factor in causes of DVT. The risks are higher for people that are over the age of 40. As a person grows, the chances of DVT increases with the age.

Pregnancy

Chances of DVT increase during pregnancy and postnatal period. When expecting a baby, the levels of the female estrogen rise, which causes blood clots more easily. An individual who takes birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy or any other drugs that consist estrogen increases the risk of developing DVT.

Weight

It is important for an individual to stay in a healthy body and weight. A high body mass index (BMI) also increases the risk of DVT. Body mass index measures the amount of fat an individual’s body contains and compares it to their height and weight.

Cancer

Cancer is also a cause of DVT. Patients who are taking chemotherapy or go through surgery can cause damage to the walls of their blood vessels which affects the way they function. When chemotherapy destroys cancer cells, certain substances that can cause blood clotting are released into the blood stream, causing DVT.

Other Causes

Another main cause includes bed rest for days or months due to illness, etc. or sitting for long periods of time, for example, sitting on a plane for hours with no movement. The deep veins in the center of the legs depend on the muscles to circulate blood back to the lungs and heart. If the muscles don’t move for a long period of time, blood appears to form clumps in the lower legs. This increases a risk for a clot to form.

Risks of DVT may increase for people who suffer from other illnesses such as heart or lung disease, inflammatory bowel disease, etc. Also, if an individual injures a muscle or fractures a bone, the inner lining of a vein that may be nearby could have been damaged, resulting into a higher risk of DVT.

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