It’s no secret that DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) is a high risk of several heart-related conditions. But the risks don’t stop there. The dangers of Deep Vein Thrombosis, which is a blood clot in a vein, deep in the body, hide within other health conditions as well.
Clots that break away and travel from the lower leg or thigh (where they most often form) to the lungs, for instance, can become lethal.
Less clear is what causes deep vein thrombosis in the first place.
Almost any disease raises your risk of having DVT, especially while you’re in the hospital, probably through lots of different pathways.
Here’s a brief look at the dangers of Deep Vein Thrombosis:
Research indicates that cancer may be one of the health conditions that cause DVT.
➡ A review of data compiled by a regional cancer center in the United States over a seven-year period showed that over 16% of cancer patients developed a thrombosis (the formation of a blood clot inside a blood vessel, obstructing the flow of blood through the circulatory system) after their cancer diagnosis.
➡ Also, because cancer patients are often older and not very active, it’s considered likely that age and lack of physical activity contribute to the increased risk for blood clots in cancer patients.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a term used to describe conditions, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, which cause inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract.
An Austrian study of nearly 2,800 people with IBD found that about 6% of them had a history of blood clots and that more than 90% of those were DVT or a pulmonary embolism (a blood clot that travels to a lung).
Inherited Clotting Disorders
Blood clotting disorders, such as sickle cell disease, are common causes of deep vein thrombosis because they cause the blood to thicken, stick, and clot more easily.
➡ In sickle cell disease, for instance, the irregular shape of the blood cells allows them to stick together more easily and form clots.
➡ According to a report from the U.S. Surgeon General, up to 20% of all people with DVT have a gene mutation for clotting factor V, which the gene that helps the blood clot normally. The gene is not able to do its job of clotting the blood.
➡ In addition, 35% have at least one genetic risk factor that makes them more susceptible to DVT.
➡ The report also notes that people with genetic deficiencies in natural anticoagulants are much more likely to develop DVT.
Heart Disease and Blood Clots
That makes it one of the health conditions that may cause DVT.
When you have heart disease, you have plaque in your blood vessels, and that raises your risk of having a clot there. The plaque has a nice smooth lining, and if it cracks, a clot can form on the crack and cause a stroke or a heart attack.
Infections and DVT Risk
➡ A Danish study published in the Journal of Internal Medicine in 2013 found that people who had a Staphylococcus bacterial infection (Staph) were three times more likely to develop DVT than those in the control group
➡ The risk was greatest within a month of their illness.
The study suggested that some risk factors are common between the two conditions. Researchers noted that people with a serious infection and other known risk factors for an embolism may be helped by medications to help prevent DVT, such as blood thinners.
➡ Other factors that increased someone’s risk for blood clots included previous blood clots in the arteries and having another autoimmune disease that affects blood clotting.
➡ People with Lupus are also at an increased risk for heart disease, which affects the health of the blood vessels and increases the risk for DVT.
Lung Disease and DVT Risk
➡ This type of lung disease can cause heart failure because the heart needs to work much harder due to the poor lung function.
➡ A 2013 French study of more than 4,000 people with COPD found that 61% developed a pulmonary embolism. That is a blocked lung artery caused by a blood clot that travels from the leg to the lung.
The researchers noted that people with COPD who had a pulmonary embolism were also at greater risk of having the embolism recur and were more likely to die from it than were people with DVT only.
Deep Vein Thrombosis is big in the news now. The risks seem to be getting scarier and the association with previously ignored medical conditions are growing.
If you have any of the conditions listed above, or if you are a Type 2 Diabetic, please consider discussing your potential personal risks for Deep Vein Thrombosis, and work to prevent it, and not wait to deal with it when it may be too late. Take care of you.
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