Blood clotting is important for the proper function of the body’s healing process. Blood clots can also be dangerous when the process malfunctions. If blood clots occur in the veins and arteries, it may lead to life-threatening stroke or heart attack. Understanding the underlying cause of blood clots may help you to be prepared if such an emergency arises.
Blood clots can happen to anyone at any time. Most of the time, however, blood clots happen to those 65 years and older according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Sometimes this is a result of medical conditions, unhealthy lifestyle and even medication. Note these 10 possible causes of blood clots:
- Surgery — If you have recently undergone surgery, a blood clot can occur.
- Hormone therapy — If you take oral contraceptives, breast cancer medications or hormone therapy, you are at greater risk of developing blood clots.
- Broken bones — Broken bones may cause blood clots.
- Being overweight — Obesity ups the chances of developing a blood clot.
- Limited mobility — If you are not able to move around either by choice or condition, you may have a greater risk for blood clots.
- Varicose veins — Having varicose veins is a cause of blood clots.
- Heart trouble and other conditions — If you have had a heart attack or other heart-related conditions, have had a stroke or are paralyzed, a blood clot can result.
- Family history — A family history of blood clots can increase your risk of having one.
- Long trips — Any extensive travel by plane, train, car or bus can cause blood clots.
- Previous clots — If you have a history of clots, it may mean more clots will develop.