Blood Clot Risk Factors

It is important to understand your risk for a blood clot. Knowing your risk can help you prevent blood clots, including blood clots in the arm or legs (deep vein thrombosis or DVT) and life-threatening blood clots in the lung (pulmonary embolism or PE). While blood clots can affect anyone, there are certain risk factors that put some people at a greater risk than others.

Blood Clot Risk Factors: 
  • Hospital stay or major surgery, especially abdominal or pelvic surgery
  • Total knee or hip replacement surgery
  • Major trauma, such as an automobile accident
  • Injury to a vein that may have been caused by a broken bone or muscle injury
  • Immobility, such as confinement to a bed or a wheelchair
  • Estrogen-based birth control pills, patch or ring
  • Treatment of menopause symptoms with estrogen
  • Pregnancy, or the recent birth of a child
  • Prior blood clot or family history of blood clots
  • A genetic or acquired blood clotting disorder
  • Cancer and some cancer treatments
  • Some heart and lung conditions, and diabetes
  • Sitting for long periods of time, such as at a desk or for extended travel, especially with crossed legs
  • Obesity, or overweight
  • Smoking
  • 55 years of age, or older
You are at increased risk for a blood clot if….
  • You or a family member have had a blood clot before
  • You have had recent major surgery
  • You have an inherited clotting condition
  • You have cancer, or are undergoing treatments for cancer
  • You are immobile for a long time (confined to bed, long-duration plane or car trip)
  • You are pregnant or have recently given birth
  • You use estrogen-based birth control pills or estrogen for the treatment of menopause symptoms