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News2009February › Flying: Longhaul flights increase DVT risk fourfold › February 2009

Flying: Longhaul flights increase DVT risk fourfold

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a very real threat for people flying longhaul, a new study has confirmed - and there are a few things you can do to reduce your risk on flights

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a very real threat for people flying longhaul, a new study has confirmed - and there are a few things you can do to reduce your risk on flights.

Researchers have calculated that any flight that lasts longer than four hours increases the chances of DVT, or venous thromboembolism (VTE), fourfold. To reduce the risk, passengers should drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids, and should walk about before and during the flight.

VTE, which can prove fatal, is caused by the passenger's immobility, dehydration and reduced oxygen in the cabin, and the risk can be heightened by an individual's own health profile, such as being overweight, or having heart problems. Women who take the oral contraceptive pill and who smoke are at special risk.

(Source: The Lancet, 2009. doi: 10.1016/SO140-6736(09)60209-9).


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