The technical term for getting blood clots is venous thromboembolism or VTE for short. VTE is the third most common cardiovascular illness after heart attacks and strokes. And it's not uncommon. About one million cases occur in the United States each year. And it can be very serious — about one-third of those people die when the clots break off and travel to their lungs. When that happens, it is referred to as a pulmonary embolism. According to the Cleveland Clinic, "Pulmonary embolism is the third most common cause of hospital-related death and the most common preventable cause of hospital-related death." Wouldn't it be great if there was a simple way to reduce the risk?
In this new study, researchers looked at 23,621 men and women aged 25-97 years old. The study followed these volunteers for an average of 15.8 years. The researchers wanted to see if fish oils were able to prevent VTEs. It makes sense because fish oils are well known to decrease the tendency to form clots. So they calculated how much total fish oils each person was getting from eating fish and taking supplements. Then they compared that to their chances of developing a VTE. Here's what they found.
The folks who ate fish more than three times a week were 22% less likely to have a VTE than those who ate fish one to two times a week. And this reduction in risk was even greater when the high fish eaters took additional fish oil supplements. In that case, the risk dropped a whopping 48%.
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Virtually anyone in the hospital for any reason is at an increased of VTE. Those at an especially high risk would be those who are bedridden or who are immobile because of pelvic or leg trauma or surgery. Also, men on testosterone therapy and women on synthetic hormone replacement therapy have an increased risk.
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