DOCTOR'S VIEW ARCHIVE
Lung Blood Clot Risk Factors in Women
BOSTON-Abnormal blood clotting in veins can result
in blood clots traveling to the lungs. The condition whereby
blood clots migrate to the lungs is referred to as pulmonary embolism.
Pulmonary embolism can lead to serious lung and heart damage,
as well as death.
There are many known risk factors for the development
of pulmonary embolism, including preceding cancer, surgery, body
trauma, and being immobilized (such as being bedridden).
A recent study published in the Journal of
the American Medical Association (1997;277:642-645)
risk factors for pulmonary embolism in women.
Samuel Z. Goldhaber, M.D. and associates at Harvard
Medical School studied over 100,000 women aged 30 to 55 years
over a 16 year period from 1976 to 1992. Their data indicate
that obesity, cigarette smoking, and high blood pressure
are associated with an increased risk of pulmonary embolism in
It is notable that obesity, cigarette smoking, and
high blood pressure are all variables which can be influenced
by active patient intervention.
The authors and the editors of MedicineNet
encourage the control of these risk factors, not only to reduce
risk of pulmonary embolism, but also to decrease the risk of coronary