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Winter Tied to Increased Blood Clot Risk
Started by N
Posted: October 3, 2008 at 05:11
Blood clot formation in the leg veins, a condition known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT), is much more likely to develop during winter months than in the summer.

Similar seasonal variation in a related, potentially fatal condition known as pulmonary embolism, in which blood clots travel to the blood vessels of the lung, has already been well documented.

The researchers found a clear seasonal variation in hospitalizations for DVT and for pulmonary embolism. While hospitalizations for DVT were about 18% lower than average during the summer months, they were about 18% higher than average in the winter.

And for pulmonary embolisms, hospitalizations dropped below the average in the summer and climbed as much as 26% above average in the winter, the report indicates.

Although this was not part of the study, the researchers speculated that cold-induced narrowing of blood vessels and reduced physical activity during winter months may produce a reduction in blood flow in the lower limbs.

Winter respiratory tract infections could also influence blood coagulation.

Patients at risk of deep vein thrombosis and/or pulmonary embolism -- and their doctors -- should be informed of this increased risk in winter.

source: British Medical Journal
Re: Winter Tied to Increased Blood Clot Risk
Reply #1 by Dave W.
Posted: October 24, 2008 at 02:03
Well, I certainly match that profile. I had my DVT the day before Christams, and my PE 9 days before Christmas.
Re: Winter Tied to Increased Blood Clot Risk
Reply #2 by John in Dallas
Posted: October 24, 2008 at 06:38
I developed dvt in Dec last year and there is certainly a little anxiety going into Dec this year. However, I don't know if winter had anything to do with it because winters are mild here.
Re: Winter Tied to Increased Blood Clot Risk
Reply #3 by Char
Posted: October 24, 2008 at 11:38
Had my DVT/PE in Feb 08, I live in Florida and it was not cold, went to ER in shorts and a T-shirt. No problem all the years I lived in Wisconsin.
Re: Winter Tied to Increased Blood Clot Risk
Reply #4 by Michelle
Posted: October 24, 2008 at 12:58
Well, my clot was July 4th - so I don't fit in at all. Mine was caused by pregnancy + Factor V - nothing to do with cold weather and inactivity. In fact, I was out walking in the woods when the clot struck - so inactivity has nothing at all to do with mine.
Re: Winter Tied to Increased Blood Clot Risk
Reply #5 by Tove
Posted: October 24, 2008 at 17:32
I'm starting to think that cold weather could have had a lot to do with my DVT. I live in California and the rest of my family lives in Denmark. In Dec. last year my father passed away unexpectedly which for one was very devestating to me. My plane ride was 11 hours non stop and the weather there was unbelievablely cold, below 0. I remember it being so cold it felt like the skin on my face would freeze off. After a 3 weeks stay and another 11 hour flight I returned back home and on April 13th I was diagnosed with a massive DVT from knee to lower abdomen. I wonder if the grief combined with cold weather and plane ride in January could have had anything to do with my DVT or if too much time had passed since my DVT didn't show up till April 13th. I would love to hear others's opinion.
Re: Winter Tied to Increased Blood Clot Risk
Reply #6 by jerczy
Posted: October 24, 2008 at 18:20
During winter it is also more likely to suffer from the common cold, respiratory infections etc.

The risk of developing deep vein thrombosis or blood clots in the lung doubles after infections, studies say. Several weeks after the infection, the risk doubles, & there is a smaller increase in risk for up to a year. Infections cause an inflammatory effect on the lining of the blood vessel wall - or endothelium, causing the coagulation system to become activated.


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