What are the potential risk factors for DVT?

Heredity aside, risk factors for DVT include age (over 50), cancer, smoking, recent surgery and obesity. In addition, excess estrogen increases the propensity to form blood clots, so pregnant women and women using hormonal contraception are also at risk. Sitting for long periods of time is problematic since immobility allows blood to pool in leg veins.

It used to be that the usual person who developed a DVT was an overweight, smoking, cross-country truck driver, but the airline industry has changed that. There is even a medical term that refers to the disproportionate number of people that develop a DVT during long plane rides: "Economy class syndrome."
People with an elevated risk of developing DVT include those who:
- have a history of prior DVT
- are on prolonged bed rest
- have cancer
- have had major surgery
- have a family history of blood clots or a clotting disorder
DVT is also linked to pregnancy, obesity, severe infections, recent major illness, or conditions in which the blood is thicker than normal. The most common symptoms of DVT are swelling of the leg, pain while walking or standing, and redness of the skin on the leg. Some people with DVT also experience pain, particularly when the foot is bent upward. Thrombophlebitis often causes redness that can be seen over the area of the affected vein. The vein may also feel hard and thick, like a piece of rope. Some people experience swelling of the extremity and heat or pain over the vein. These symptoms sometimes are accompanied by fever if the vein is infected.

Continue Learning about Blood Clot (Thrombus)

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.