Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Are Different Ethnicities at Higher Risk for DVT?

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(ThySistas.com) A deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a type of blood clot that occurs in one of the deep veins of the body. Though it normally does not cause symptoms besides some swelling and pain, it can potentially be deadly if the clot breaks loose and moves to the lungs or another problematic condition. Other dangers of DVT include heart failure and post-thrombotic syndrome. There are plenty of things that affect a person’s chances of developing a DVT, and one of the risk factors for the condition can be ethnicity. To understand why some people may have a higher or lower rate of deep vein thrombosis, it is necessary to take a look at the underlying causes of the condition.

What Causes Deep Vein Thrombosis?

A deep vein thrombosis occurs whenever blood cells and certain types of proteins tangle together to form a lump. They can happen whenever something impairs circulation throughout the veins or whenever something affects your body’s ability to clot blood properly. There are many things that can increase a person’s likelihood of getting a deep vein thrombosis, including:

  • Being overweight
  • Using birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy
  • Sitting for long stretches of time
  • Being over 60
  • Having a family history of blood clotting
  • Having an injury to your veins
  • Having a blood disorder
  • Smoking
  • Having cancer, heart failure, or bowel diseases

Which Ethnicities Have a Higher Risk of DVT?

According to a 2009 study from the University of California, African Americans are far more likely to suffer from a deep vein thrombosis than other races or ethnic groups. After African Americans, Caucasians are the group most likely to have deep vein thrombosis. Hispanics have a lower risk of DVT than Caucasians, but the group with the lowest amount of deep vein thrombosis is Asian and Pacific Islanders. 2014 research further takes a look at the connection between race and deep vein thrombosis, and they find that the region a person lives in may further alter their DVT risk. Black people in the southeastern portions of the United States seem to have the highest rates of DVT overall.

Why Does Ethnicity Affect DVT Risk?

So far, researchers do not fully understand the reason that deep vein thrombosis and ethnicity are linked. There are many genetic and lifestyle factors that seem to have an effect on DVT risk. Certain genetic factors can make blood more likely to clot, so part of the issue may be that families of African Americans tend to inherit their higher DVT risk. African Americans also have higher rates of sickle cell disease than the rest of the population, and this blood disorder can increase DVT risk.

Higher DVT risks may also be linked to overall health among races. The risks are highest for African Americans in the south, where obesity is a huge problem, and this may be because obesity greatly increases DVT risks. Since Asians are far less likely to be obese, this may explain why they have the lowest rates of DVT overall. Socioeconomic factors may also matter, because those who struggle to get adequate healthcare are more likely to end up with complications from DVT.

Staff Writer; Latasha Baker

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