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Office workers at particular risk of blood clots

According to a study from New Zealand, workers who spend long periods of time immobile at their desks could be putting themselves at risk for potentially fatal blood clots.

A BBC report says researchers found that a third of patients hospitalized with deep vein thrombosis were office workers who spent extended periods of time at a computer.

The report says the condition is commonly called “economy class syndrome,” because passengers sitting in cramped conditions on long-haul flights are considered particularly vulnerable.

Deep vein thrombosis occurs when a blood clot forms in one of the larger, deeper veins. The condition can be potentially fatal if the clot travels to the lungs, heart or brain.

The report quotes one of the lead researchers as saying that some of the office workers who developed blood clots had sat at their desks for as long as 14 hours, without moving for three or four hours at a time.

The Mayo Clinic also lists prolonged sitting or bed rest as risk factors for deep vein thrombosis. Other risk factors the Mayo Clinic lists are family history of blood clots, recent surgery, pregnancy and use of birth control pills.

While most birth control pills can raise the risk of blood clots, numerous studies show contraceptives with the compound drospirenone — which include Yasmin, Yaz, Beyaz and Ocella — can carry up to the three times the risk as those without it.

See the report here: