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 deep vein thrombosis (DVT or blood clots in the leg) and life-threatening pulmonary embolism (PE or blood clot in the lung). 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
  • Major surgery such as abdominal or pelvic surgery
  • Knee or hip replacement
  • Major trauma such as an auto accident or fall
  • Nursing home living
  • Leg paralysis
  • Older than 65 years
  • Trips over four hours by plane, car, train or bus
  • Active cancer or chemotherapy treatment
  • Bone fracture or cast
  • Estrogen-based birth control pills, patch or ring
  • Treatment of menopause symptoms with estrogen
  • Pregnancy or a recent birth
  • Prior blood clot or family history of blood clots
  • Heart failure
  • Bed rest over three days
  • Obesity
  • Genetic/hereditary or acquired blood clotting disorder

You are at increased risk if you or a close family member have had a blood clot before; you have had recent major surgery; you have an inherited clotting condition; have cancer; are immobile for a long time (confined to bed, long-duration plane or car trip, etc.); are pregnant or have recently given birth; or use estrogen-based birth control pills or estrogen for the treatment of menopause symptoms.