Thromboembolism risk factors

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]

Risk Factors

Almost anyone can have thromboembolic event. However, certain factors can increase the risk of developing this condition. The risk increases even more for someone who has more than one risk factor at the same time.

Following is a List of Factors that Increase the Risk of Developing Deep Vein Thrombosis

Source: CDC

  • Injury to the vein, often caused by:
  • Fractures,
  • Severe muscle injury,
  • Major surgery (particularly involving the abdomen, pelvis, hip, or legs).
  • Slow blood flow, often caused by:
  • Confinement to bed (e.g., due to a medical condition or after surgery);
  • Limited movement (e.g., a cast on a leg to help heal an injured bone;
  • Sitting for a long time, especially with crossed legs; or
  • Paralysis.
  • Certain chronic medical illnesses, such as:
  • Trauma
  • Multiple trauma
  • CNS/spinal cord injury
  • Burns
  • Lower extremity fractures
  • Other risk factors include:
  • Previous DVT
  • Family history of DVT
  • Age (risk increases as age increases)
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • A catheter located in a central vein
  • Inherited clotting disorders. An inherited clotting disorder might be suspected when a person has repeated DVTs that cannot be linked to any specific cause (such as recent surgery) or develops DVT in a vein at an unusual location, such as a vein in the liver, kidney, or brain.


  1. Karlijn J. van Stralen, MSc; Frits R. Rosendaal, MD, PhD; Carine J. M. Doggen, PhD (January 14, 2008). "Minor Injuries as a Risk Factor for Venous Thrombosis". Arch Intern Med. 168 No. 1: 21–26. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2007.5. PMID 18195191.