Who is at risk of Excessive Blood Clotting?

By  ,  National Institute of Health
Jul 11, 2011

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People at highest risk for excessive blood clotting have both acquired and genetic risk factors. For example, if you have the Factor V Leiden mutation and atherosclerosis, and you smoke, you're at higher risk than someone who has only one of these risk factors.


Genetic Risk Factors

You're more likely to have a genetic cause of excessive blood clotting if you have:

  • Family members who have had dangerous blood clots
  • A personal history of repeated blood clots before the age of 40
  • Had a heart attack or stroke before the age of 50
  • Had unexplained miscarriages

Factor V Leiden is one of the more common genetic mutations that can alter the blood clotting process. It's found in 5 to 15 percent of the general population. This mutation accounts for up to a quarter of the cases of genetic blood clotting disorders. Factor V Leiden is found mostly in people who have a European background.

Other Risk Factors

Another risk factor for excessive blood clotting is antiphospholipid antibody syndrome linked to lupus. This condition may affect 4 to 14 percent of the U.S. population.


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