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How common is deep vein thrombosis (DVT)?

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is more common than you might think:

  • Each year, 600,000 people in the United States are newly diagnosed with DVT.
  • 200,000 people die annually due to complications of DVT.
  • One out of every 100 cases of DVT is fatal due to development of a pulmonary embolism—a blood clot that travels to the lungs and blocks blood flow.
  • Early diagnosis and treatment of DVT can decrease the risk of developing a life-threatening pulmonary embolism to less than 1%
  • Medications designed to prevent blood from clotting during surgery are routine for some surgical procedures that increase DVT risk, such as orthopedic surgery and some general surgeries. Without these medications, as many as 50 percent of all patients undergoing an orthopedic surgical procedure and up to 25 percent of general surgery patients would develop DVT.
  • A person's likelihood of developing DVT depends on his or her lifestyle, medical profile, and risk factors.

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Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot that forms in a vein deep in the body. A pulmonary embolism occurs when a blood clot breaks loose and travels through the bloodstream to the lungs, where it can block a lung artery —causing damage to the lungs or other organs by depriving them of oxygen.

DVT and pulmonary embolism affect up to 600,000 Americans each year—a number that continues to rise as the U.S. population age—and contribute to at least 100,000 deaths annually.

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is very common. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as many as 900,000 Americans a year may be affected by DVT, while 60,000 to 100,000 die from the disease annually.

More than 300,000 patients a year are affected by deep vein thrombosis, which is caused by clotting in one of the deep veins of the leg.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.