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Is obesity linked to a higher risk of getting a blood clot while flying on an airplane?

ANSWER

Obesity -- a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher -- can raise your chances of getting blood clots while flying. The extra weight slows the flow of blood through your veins.

Obesity isn't the only risk factor for getting blood clots while flying. You may also have greater odds of getting blood clots on a flight if you:

Varicose veins can also raise your chances of blood clots.

  • Are over 40
  • Had an injury or surgery in the 3 months before your trip
  • Take birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy
  • Are pregnant or gave birth within 3 months before your trip
  • Had blood clots in the past
  • Had a stroke or have cancer or heart disease

SOURCES:

American Society of Hematology: "Blood Clots."

CDC: "Blood Clots and Travel: What You Need to Know," "Blood Clots During Travel."

Cleveland Clinic: "Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)."

Columbia Surgery: "How to Avoid Blood Clots When Flying: Advice from a Vascular Surgeon."

Hospital for Special Surgery: "Avoiding Blood Clotting Complications When Flying Long Distances Before Surgery."

Lifebridge Health: "Blood Clots: Deep Vein Thrombosis."

Mayo Clinic: "Blood clots: Basics," "Blood clots: Symptoms."

NHS: "Prevent DVT (deep vein thrombosis) when you travel."

Reviewed by Michael W. Smith on August 3, 2020

SOURCES:

American Society of Hematology: "Blood Clots."

CDC: "Blood Clots and Travel: What You Need to Know," "Blood Clots During Travel."

Cleveland Clinic: "Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)."

Columbia Surgery: "How to Avoid Blood Clots When Flying: Advice from a Vascular Surgeon."

Hospital for Special Surgery: "Avoiding Blood Clotting Complications When Flying Long Distances Before Surgery."

Lifebridge Health: "Blood Clots: Deep Vein Thrombosis."

Mayo Clinic: "Blood clots: Basics," "Blood clots: Symptoms."

NHS: "Prevent DVT (deep vein thrombosis) when you travel."

Reviewed by Michael W. Smith on August 3, 2020

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Can compression stockings help treat symptoms of deep vein thrombosis (DVT)?

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