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Deep-Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Causes and Risk Factors

Deep-Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Causes

The precise cause of Traveler's Thrombosis, while currently not clear, appears to be related, in part, to long periods of sitting and inactivity. The decrease in activity may lead to inadequate circulation of the blood in the legs. In addition, the veins may be slightly constricted, which could also impair circulation in the legs.

Other conditions that alter blood flow or normal clotting mechanisms may make some people more likely to develop a DVT. Some of these risk factors include a prior DVT, certain heart diseases, cancer, pregnancy, smoking, older age, and some blood clotting disorders. Recent major surgery or trauma is also a risk factor.

Certain medications may also contribute to formation of the thrombus. Birth control pills and related hormones have been found to make some people slightly more susceptible to forming DVTs.


Deep-Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Risk Factors

  • Increasing age
  • Prolonged immobility
  • Stroke
  • Paralysis
  • Previous VTE
  • Cancer and its treatment
  • Major surgery (particularly operations involving the abdomen, pelvis and lower extremities)
  • Respiratory failure
  • Trauma (especially fractures of the pelvis, hip or leg)
  • Obesity
  • Varicose veins
  • Congestive heart failure and myocardial infarction
  • Indwelling central venous catheters
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Nephrotic syndrome
  • Pregnancy, oral contraceptives or post-menopausal hormone replacement
  • Inherited predisposition for clotting

Further Reading

Last Updated: Jul 14, 2009

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