By Claire McLintock, MD, Special to Everyday Health
For Valentine’s Day, if you’re a woman you may be busy making plans and purchasing flowers, chocolates, and greeting cards for loved ones, ensuring that everyone else is enjoying the holiday. But it’s important for you to pause and celebrate yourself this Valentine’s Day, too — especially your health — by becoming aware of blood clot risks. Blood clots are the cause of one in four deaths worldwide and potentially pose a very real danger to both men and women.
As a woman, you may play a major role in looking after your children and your parents. Women are the primary consumers of healthcare services ― often more for the people they care for than for themselves. This Valentine’s Day, why not look into your own particular blood clot risks?
Blood clots are the underlying cause of heart attacks, most strokes, and venous thromboembolism (VTE).
VTE is a condition in which blood clots form in the veins, usually first in the deep veins of the leg — a condition called deep vein thrombosis (DVT) — but can travel through the deep venous system and then lodge in the lungs. A blood clot in the lungs is known as a pulmonary embolism (PE). VTE can be fatal but can also be prevented.
While VTE can affect anyone, certain risk factors are specific to women. To mark Valentine’s Day, remember these top three VTE risk factors for women and share them with a loved one.