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Deep Vein Thrombosis Health Center

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Sibling History of Blood Clots May Raise Your Risk

Study Shows Impact of Family History on Development of Deep Vein Thrombosis

Blood Clots Are Silent Killers continued...

Among the other findings:

  • Having a sibling hospitalized with a blood clot was associated with a nearly fivefold increase in risk among children and teens between the ages of 10 and 19.
  • A similar history was associated with a doubling of risk among people between the ages of 60 and 69.
  • Females had a slightly higher risk for the blood clots compared to males from age 10 until the age of 40, and men had a slightly higher risk after the age of 50.

The study appears online in the American Heart Association journal Circulation.

Genetic Risk Factors for VTE

Five major genetic risk factors associated with an increased risk for VTE have been identified. But doctors do not routinely test for them, so most people do not know if they carry one or more of the genetic risk factors.

This was the case with NBC News correspondent David Bloom, who died of a blood clot that started in his legs and traveled to his lungs in the early days of the Iraq war after spending days immobilized in a tank while embedded with U.S. troops.

Although Bloom did not know it, he had inherited a blood clotting disorder that increased his risk for the dangerous blood clots, along with other risk factors, his wife, Melanie, later said.

Philadelphia cardiologist Don LaVan, MD, who is a spokesman for the American Heart Association, says the study confirms that asking patients about their family history of VTE is important for assessing risk.

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