Here Are 8 Factors That Increase Your Risk for Developing Blood Clots

Our bodies need blood clots as this prevents the blood from uncontrolled flowing after a cut or injury; but when blood clots form when they’re not needed, they become potentially life-threatening, so this article discusses risk factors.

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Dr Henry Ddungu, of the World Thrombosis Day Steering Committee, shares his insight on eight factors that can help identify if you are at risk of developing blood clots in order to prevent them. PHOTO via @Michigan Health Blog

KAMPALA | LIFESTYLE UGANDA ( — Creating blood clots after a cut or injury is necessary for our bodies as this prevents blood from flowing uncontrollably, however, if they develop when they are not necessary, they can become dangerous, so we’ll discuss the risk factors in this article.

  • Blood clotting is important for our bodies to keep the blood from uncontrollably flowing.
  • However, if blood clots form unnecessarily, they can become life-threatening.
  • Any individual can develop a blood clot, but the risk of thrombosis increases with age.
  • The risk of thrombosis varies based on age, gender, and background.
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If a clot breaks loose, it can travel to an organ, which can cause a heart attack, stroke, or venous thromboembolism, which are the top three cardiovascular killers.

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is the occurrence of a blood clot (thrombus) inside one or more deep veins of the body. It can cause leg pain or swelling but can also occur without symptoms.

Every year, more people succumb to thrombosis, the formation of a blood clot in blood vessels, than those who die from AIDS, breast cancer, and car accidents combined.

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As this alarming fact indicates, we should ensure that we are all aware of the risk factors that contribute to blood clots, especially since thrombosis is both preventable and treatable if you are aware of the symptoms and seek medical care immediately when needed.

Thrombosis Day Steering Committee member, Dr Henry Ddungu, shares his insight into the eight factors that may help determine if you’re at risk for developing blood clots, and how to prevent them.

You’re at risk for blood clots if you have these 8 things

#1. Growing older

Even though anyone can develop a blood clot at any age, thrombosis risks rise as a person ages.

A higher risk of blood clots occurs in people over the age of 60, probably due to the fact that you’re more likely to develop other health conditions that increase your chances of getting one.

#2. Women/Men

People of all ages, backgrounds, and gender can be affected by thrombosis, but the risks for men and women can differ.

The thrombosis risk in men is higher than that of women, but women have additional risks because of pregnancy, hormonal birth control, or hormone therapy after menopause.

Therefore, considering these factors is crucial when choosing your family planning strategy, conception procedure, or treatment for menopausal symptoms.

#3. Recovering from Surgery

Having been hospitalized is a major risk factor for the development of venous thromboembolism (VTE). Up to 60% of all VTE cases occur during or within 90 days of hospitalization.

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Patients who have experienced blood vessel trauma due to surgery are at even higher risk for developing venous thromboembolism. Orthopaedic, cardiothoracic, major general surgery and neurosurgery are some of the procedures that put patients at risk.

#4. The smoking habit

There is a life-threatening risk of blood clots as smoking damages the blood vessel lining, which may result in platelets sticking together at the damaged lining to form clots.

It is possible to experience blood coagulation issues even after significant passive smoke exposure.
Even a moderate amount of passive smoke can affect blood coagulation.

#5. Cancer patients

A patient with cancer is at increased risk for VTE, which is caused by specific cancer-related factors, including the type of cancer, type of cancer treatment, and the type of surgery and hospitalization.

Compared to the general population, cancer patients are four times more likely to experience blood clots.

Patients with cancer who have blood clotting may experience severe consequences, such as a higher risk of recurrent thrombosis, increased risk of bleeding while on anticoagulants, and shorter survival times.

#6. Blood Clots in the Family

If you have a family member who has experienced a dangerous blood clot, you are more likely to develop them, since inherited blood clot causes are linked to genetics.

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The risk of developing thrombosis prior to 45 years of age is higher for people with a family history of life-threatening blood clots. However, this is not common.

#7. Overweight or obese

Having excess weight can increase the risk of DVT as it puts greater pressure on the lower half of the body and the veins. If you are obese or overweight, this won’t guarantee you’ll get thrombosis, but it may increase the likelihood.

Furthermore, obesity can also cause chronic inflammation, which can be a major factor in thrombosis.

#8. Movement

Blood flow is restricted when your legs are kept still for extended periods of time, and this can lead to a blood clot.

Even sitting for long periods of time at work can result in a DVT which can be painful when it results from bed rest, hospital recovery, or casts on legs.

It is also possible for a piece of the clot to break off and cause a pulmonary embolism, a potentially fatal condition.

Musasi Isaac Christopher

An aspiring Lifestyle blogger who specializes in health, food and restaurant sectors. WhatsApp me on +256759100143.

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