DVT and Obesity in the News

Deep Vein Thrombosis, or DVT, is a serious condition that results from blood clotting in the deep veins within the legs. DVT can cause pulmonary embolism, a life threatening condition, when part of the leg blood clot enters the blood stream and obstructs the lungs. Research now indicates that people who are obese increase their risk of DVT. People who are obese have a Body Mass Index (BMI) or greater than 30. Those that are morbidly obese have a BMI of between 40 and 50; while those are considered super obese have a BMI over 50.

Research indicates that obese men less than 40 years of age are three times as likely to acquire DVT as their non-obese equivalents. Women under the age of 40 are at six times the risk of developing DVT than non-obese women. In addition to the life threatening pulmonary embolism associated with DVT, long-term health conditions such as leg pain, vein damage, swelling, leg sores, and discoloration may occur.

Although DVT can develop in any deep vein in the body, it typically occurs in the leg. It’s important to know the symptoms of DVT to seek immediate medical treatment. Likely symptoms of deep vein thrombosis include swelling in the calf, calf pain, increased calf pain when walking or standing.

In order to prevent the risk of DVT, people should maintain a healthy BMI. People that have a BMI over 30 should lose weight. Depending on the health of the person, options to lose weight include FDA-approved medications, lifestyle changes that include a healthy diet and exercise, and weight loss surgery. People who want to achieve weight loss should seek advice from their Albany, GA physician to discuss the best individualized option.

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