According to a recent article in Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics, a publication of the American Heart Association, one’s height can put them at higher risk for blood clots.
Bad News for Tall People
According to Swedish associate professor, Dr. Bengt Zöller, of Lund University, the taller a person is, quite simply, the higher the risk of venous blood clot. The population in general, says, Dr. Zöller, is getting taller. With increase in height, the risks of a blood clot become higher. There isn’t much we can do about height, we can be more aware of the symptoms and overall risks.
Blood clots can occur in veins when patients are immobilized for long periods of time,for example,after surgery. They can occur when travelling long distances in a car or on a plane trip. They can cause pain and swelling in the leg and even fainting. If not treated, the clots can break away and make their way through the veins and in the lungs causing a potentially fatal pulmonary embolism.
Venous blood clots are diagnosed with sonograms of the legs and some blood tests that can determine an excessive amount of clotting in the blood vessels.
The studies did not examine specific other factors such as diet, smoking, estrogen use in women or other genetic factors.
Essentially, while not confirmed medically, blood has to flow against gravity in veins in the legs. Since being tall may be more of a challenge to that physiological activity, that fact may be significant. An increase in surface area of the vein tissue in taller individuals may also play a part in the increase in blood clots in taller people.
Patients should be aware of the symptoms and not delay seeing a physician immediately if they suspect a blood clot in the leg or lung.
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