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Stillbirth or pre-term birth outcomes linked to elevated risk of blood clots after pregnancy
Date:4/2/2013

(Washington)- Newly identified pregnancy-related events, such as stillbirth or pre-term birth, may dramatically increase a woman's risk of developing a potentially deadly blood clot immediately after pregnancy, according to the results of a large, population-based study published online today in Blood, the Journal of the American Society of Hematology (ASH).

Venous thromboembolism, or VTE, is a clotting disorder that includes both deep-vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE). DVT is a blood clot that typically forms in the deep veins of the leg. It can develop into PE, a life-threatening condition that occurs when the clot breaks free and becomes lodged in the arteries of the lung, blocking blood flow. VTE is a rare but serious complication in pregnancy, and remains one of the leading causes of pregnancy-related death in many parts of the world. One preventive measure for VTE includes a daily dose of the blood thinner heparin. However, because heparin may not be cost effective or safe, current U.K. obstetric VTE risk guidelines suggest administering the drug only to women considered to be at high risk based on specific sets of risk factors which may not fully capture the true "at risk" population.

"Preventing VTE in pregnancy remains a challenging topic for clinicians since there is still disagreement as to which clinical, lifestyle, and socio-demographic factors qualify women as high-risk, and data are lacking about the relative impact of those factors on their risk of VTE," said author Matthew Grainge, PhD, of the Division of Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Nottingham in the U.K. "Moreover, many studies have made the incorrect assumption that any risk factors identified have a similar impact on VTE rates in both pregnant women and new moms."

To understand the relative risk of VTE i
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Contact: Andrea Slesinski
aslesinski@hematology.org
American Society of Hematology
Source:Eurekalert

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