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What can raise your risk for getting blood clots while flying on an airplane?

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Obesity -- a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher -- is one of the biggest blood clot risks. The extra weight slows the flow of blood through your veins.

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. These bulging, thick veins have a faulty valve that allows blood to get stuck and pool inside them.

  • 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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What can you do to prevent blood clots while flying on an airplane?

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