- Defining blood clots
- Types and causes of blood clots
- What risk factors contribute to blood clots?
- What are the signs and symptoms of blood clots?
- What kinds of blood clot complications can occur?
- How are blood clots diagnosed?
- What treatment procedures are involved in dealing with blood clots?
- Are there ways to prevent blood clots and what are the associated complications?
- Blood clot FAQs
What risk factors contribute to blood clots?
Risk factors are closely associated with overall causes of abnormal blood clots. Some of the most common include:
- Arterial associated blood clots: These may develop as a result of hypertension (high blood pressure), high cholesterol levels, diabetes, cancer, excess weight and obesity, smoking habits and a family history of blood clots, stroke or heart attack.
- Blood clots occurring in the veins: May occur due to a sedentary lifestyle or an immobile state (lack of muscle movement or movement at all due to becoming bedridden or hospitalised following injury or due to a surgical procedure, such as joint replacements, orthopaedic and spinal cord damage, or paralysis, as well as during long-haul travel, such as long stretches of travel in cars, trains or aeroplanes which limit movement for more than 4 consecutive hours, or during pregnancy) or due to genetic errors in the blood’s clotting ability .
Other general risk factors include:
- Age (blood circulation typically slows during senior years, post 65 years of age, which can increase risk for clots)
- Obesity and excess weight problems
- Chronic inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis or irritable bowel syndrome
- Conditions which result in increased swelling of tissues can increase risk for clots – these include diverticulitis, acute pancreatic swelling, liver disease or appendicitis
- Cirrhosis of the liver
- Oestrogen-based medications
- Pregnancy (compression of veins in the lower extremities and pelvis due to the growing baby, resulting is slowing blood flow, as well as clotting in preparation for birth, and following delivery increase the risk of developing a clot)
- Genetic influences, such as a family history of blood clotting problems or disorders
- One or more miscarriages