If you like reading articles about health and medicine, you may have noticed a number of articles lately about the increase in diagnoses of DVT (deep vein thrombosis – the presence of blood clots in the large arteries of your legs). This increase would be alarming in itself, because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that almost a million people get DVT every year, and hundreds of thousands of them die from its direct complications, such as stroke and pulmonary embolism. But this increase in DVT cases is even more alarming because the condition seems to be affecting a growing number of young women, who previously were not thought to be at risk from the disease.
The traditional risk factors for DVT seem to be changing
Risk factors that have long been identified as increasing your likelihood of developing DVT have been genetics (family members with a history of the disease), inactivity (not enough exercise, especially sitting too much), and age (being over 60). This last risk factor, however, seems to be changing, because DVT is being frequently diagnosed in women in their 20s or 30s.
Why is this happening?
There are many reasons why younger women are becoming more at risk of DVT now than in the past. One important factor is the previously-mentioned inactivity, because many women are stuck in jobs that require them to sit all day, or to travel for work on cramped airplanes. Another is increased use of hormonal medicines, such as birth control pills, or hormone therapy following pregnancy. Also adding to the growing risks for DVT are the increased prevalence of obesity and type 2 diabetes, both on the rise.
So what should women do to protect themselves against DVT?
The most important thing you should do – regardless of your age – is see a vein specialist in New Orleans and get a venous health screening. These screenings are painless and non-invasive, but in about an hour they can allow your Louisiana vein doctor to diagnose DVT or other vein problems if you have them, or determine your risk for such diseases if you don’t have them yet.
If the screening shows that you have DVT or other vein problems, don’t despair – they are treatable these days, and usually with minimally-invasive outpatient procedures that can be performed in your doctor’s office. If the screening shows that you don’t have these diseases yet but are at high risk for them, your doctor can help you prevent the diseases from appearing.
What’s not to like about that? That’s a lot of benefit from a painless, one-hour screening, right? So give us a call and let the vein experts at our vein clinic in New Orleans office help to improve your health.