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Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot that can develop deep within the veins of your legs. You can’t see it and you may not know you have it.  If it is ignored or improperly treated the clot can move to your lungs and become a pulmonary embolism (PE) which can cause severe problems and even death.  Complications from DVT kill over 200,000 people a year – that’s more than AIDS and breast cancer combined.

Now, according to MedicineNet the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has just approved an existing anti-clotting drug, Apixaban for the treatment of DVT in people who have already had either DVT or PE. The expectation is that it will lower the risk of reoccurrence.

There are a number of conditions that can up the risk for DVT. If you have one or more of these conditions you may be at risk: obesity, cancer, chronic immobility, leg injuries and infections, inflammatory diseases, and blood clotting disorders.  Smokers, pregnant women, and women who use oral contraceptives are also at greater risk than the general population.  And spending long hours sitting in an airplane or car can put anyone at risk, which is why it’s a good idea to get up and move around or stop the car to stretch your legs.

Image: Wikipedia

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Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

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