What Are Hypercoagulable States?

Last Editorial Review: 1/11/2018

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What are hypercoagulable states?

Doctor's answer:

A hypercoagulable state is the medical term for a condition in which there is an abnormally increased tendency toward blood clotting (coagulation).

There are numerous hypercoagulable states. Each has different causes and each increases a person's chances of developing blood clots such as those associated with thrombophlebitis (clot in the veins).

Causes of hypercoagulable states include medications (female hormones, estrogens and birth control pills), after surgery (post-operative period, especially hip, knee, and urinary system procedures), pregnancy, phospholipid antibodies in blood (anticardiolipin antibodies, lupus anticoagulant), cancer (though most patients with a hypercoagulable state do not have cancer), elevated blood homocysteine levels, and inherited protein deficiencies (antithrombin III, factor V Leiden, protein S, protein C, and others).

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