Skip to content

    Deep Vein Thrombosis Health Center

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    How Weight Affects DVT

    Obesity has more than doubled since 1980 worldwide. The number of deep-vein clots is rising right along with that.

    Doctors aren't yet sure exactly why, but people who have a body mass index of at least 30 are more likely than people of normal weight to get a blood clot deep in a vein, called deep vein thrombosis, or DVT.

    Recommended Related to DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis)

    Blood Thinner Basics

    Blood thinners are medicines that help blood flow smoothly through your veins and arteries. They also keep blood clots from forming or getting bigger. They’re used to treat some types of heart disease and heart defects, and other conditions that could raise your risk of getting dangerous clots. They can protect against heart attacks and strokes. But they also come with risks: For example, they’ll cause you to bleed more than usual when you cut yourself. The lifesaving benefits of these drugs...

    Read the Blood Thinner Basics article > >

    What Causes It?

    People who are obese tend to have a less active lifestyle. Being idle makes your blood flow sluggish, and this makes clots more likely.

    Extra fat around your belly will also stop blood from moving easily through the deep veins.

    Obesity changes the chemical makeup of blood, and it leads to inflammation. Both make your blood more prone to clotting.

    And obesity puts you at risk for diabetes, which boosts your chances for getting DVT, too.

    What You Can Do

    Studies show that losing weight can change your blood chemistry and lower your risks. Overweight and obese adults who did moderately intense aerobic exercise improved their blood health, even if they didn't lose weight.

    Unfortunately, it doesn't look like you can lower the risk of a second DVT by losing weight after you've had one.

    A lot of fish with omega-3 fatty acids in your diet may help protect your blood against abnormal clotting. Avoid high-carb diets -- they can make your blood more likely to clot.

    Your doctor can and should help you get from obese to a healthy weight.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson, MD on November 29, 2015

    Today on WebMD

    TAG dvt blood clot
    Symptoms, causes, risk factors, and more.
    businesswoman in airport
    Tips to prevent another clot.
     
    blood thinners
    Tips for DVT.
    Blood clots in artery
    Causes and treatments.
     
    Simple Steps to Lower Cholesterol
    Slideshow
    Having Surgery Tips To Reduce DVT Risk And More
    Slideshow
     
    New DVT Therapies On The Horizon
    Video
    Atrial Fibrillation Guide
    Slideshow
     

    WebMD Special Sections