WASHINGTON, March 15, 2007 /PRNewswire/ -- Up to two million Americans are affected each year by DVT, with up to 600,000 hospitalized. Its primary complication, pulmonary embolism (PE), claims up to 300,000 lives annually -- more than breast cancer and AIDS combined.
The Coalition to Prevent Deep-Vein Thrombosis (DVT) recently sponsored an online survey of a nationally representative sample of consumers and physicians. The survey, which was conducted by Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates, assessed what Americans know about DVT.
Obesity is defined by the National Institutes of Health as having a Body Mass Index greater than 30 (approximately 30 pounds or more overweight). Abdominal obesity may not only promote blood clotting, but also impair the body's natural ability to dissolve clots.
The survey results point to an ongoing need for patients and physicians alike to know more about this leading cause of death and how they can reduce the risk of DVT. Following are the results specific to obesity.
Most physicians do not recognize obesity as a significant risk factor for DVT and are unlikely to initiate DVT therapy in obese patients.
* When probed, less than four in 10 (38%) rate obesity as a very significant risk factor for DVT. * Less than a quarter (14%) strongly agree that they are likely to initiate DVT treatment as a first step in an obese patient who does not have other risk factors.
Obese individuals are slightly less likely than the general population to have discussed DVT with their physician.
* 7% of the 210 obese individuals surveyed say their primary care physician has discussed DVT with them, compared with 12% of the general population. * Obese individuals are as likely to get their information about DVT from an advertisement as from a doctor, nurse or other medical professional (20% for each).
Although most obese individuals can name some risk factors for DVT, very few recognize obesity as a risk factor.
* Top of mind, 68% of obese individuals are able to identify at least one risk factor for DVT. * Less than one in 10 (9%) name weight factors/obesity as a common risk factor for DVT.
Obese individuals know somewhat less about DVT than the general population and are slightly less likely to seek information about it.
* 42% of obese individuals have some knowledge about DVT, vs. 51% of the general population. * 10% have actively sought information about DVT, compared with 15% of the general population.
The Coalition to Prevent Deep-Vein Thrombosis is funded by sanofi-aventis U.S. LLC
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