Female with DVTWhether you’re a couch potato or you spend most of your time at work, sitting, you are more likely to develop DVT, or deep vein thrombosis. The condition occurs when a blood clot develops in the veins, typically in the lower legs or thighs.

Lack of Physical Activity

When was the last time you binged watch a favorite TV show? How often do you sit in long-haul flights? Do you forget to take 5- to 10-minute breaks during a long day of meeting deadlines? 

Immobility for long periods—on trips, at home, or at work—puts you at much higher risk for the condition.

Without proper diagnosis and treatment, DVT is likely to bring on another condition: PTS, or post-thrombotic syndrome. PTS has long-term consequences. Blood and fluid buildup can worsen over time, so it’s important to get DVT treatment.

Unfortunately, an alarming number of Americans suffer from DVT, and half develop a complication.

Commonly Underdiagnosed

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 900,000 Americans are at risk annually for the condition. The agency also suggests that about 60,000 to 100,000 people die from this condition, with 10% to 30% of them dying within a month of diagnosis.

DVT can happen to anyone, even athletes. But it is more common in individuals over 50. Risk factors include a family history of DVT, birth control pills, obesity, smoking, prolonged bed rest, and pregnancy.

DVT can lead to pulmonary embolism, a condition which results in low blood oxygen levels, heart failure, lung damage, and eventually, death. Symptoms include chest pain, sudden shortness of breath, rapid pulse, fever, and coughing up blood.

The most important thing is to move around and exercise, even when you get too busy. It isn’t just for your weight, but your general well being. Also, have regular check-ups, especially after you’ve had knee or hip replacement surgery, as these are also common risk factors for DVT.