African Americans & Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

dark kneesThe Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism 2008 report highlighted the scope and impact of deep vein thrombosis (DVT).  The report stated that as many as 100,000 to 180,000 deaths occur annually due to DVT and pulmonary embolism (PE) in the United States alone. Although many of these events are preventable, there are a large proportion of DVT events that occur spontaneously, without any signs or symptoms.

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The cause of DVT is a complex interaction of environmental or inherited risk factors, and the prevalence of these risk factors depends on the population being studied. Past studies and clinical trials of DVT have only focused on patients of European ancestry and as a result, the current understanding of inherited DVT risk factors is weighted towards those factors that are more (or even exclusively) prevalent in that population.