Although the vast majority of cases are preventable, blood clots are a serious public health problem that kill hundreds of thousands of adults each year. In the U.S. alone, up to 300,000 people die each year from blood clot conditions called deep vein thrombosis (DVT), formed when blood thickens and clumps together, then travels and causes complications, such as a stroke.
While sometimes blood clots cause symptoms noticeable enough for a patient to visit the doctor, such as leg pain, symptoms of deep vein thrombosis can also go unnoticed, which can be very dangerous. If thrombosis runs in your family, you're over the age of 60, or you have a family history of other heart and vascular complications, you're at a higher risk for developing DVT.
Your health is still within your control, however â since research shows that other lifestyle-related risk factors greatly impact your chances of developing DVT, including being overweight or obese, inactivity, smoking, and taking birth control or hormone replacement drugs. Improving your diet, staying active, losing weight and controlling your blood pressure are important steps in naturally preventing clots and stopping them from returning.
What Is Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)?
Thrombosis is the term for a medical condition that occurs when a blood clot (called a thrombus) forms in an artery or vein. Deep vein thrombosis, often just called DVT for short, is specifically the kind of thrombosis caused when a blood clot develops in a deep vein, most often in the lower leg, thigh or pelvis. On the other hand, when a clot forms in a vein that's closer to the surface of your skin, this type of thrombosis is called "superficial thrombosis."
Compared to superficial thrombosis, DVT is considered to be much more serious and complicated. Superficial thrombosis normally doesn't cause life-threatening complications (such as a stroke) and often clears on its own, while DVT clots pose more risks.
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