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Anxiety is found to increase the risk of DVT whilst flying

A passengers fear of flying may be a large factor in the causes of Deep Vein Thrombosis or DVT as it is more commonly known. This is the term for the formation of a blood clot which may prove fatal.

Experts now believe that the effect of adrenaline on these passengers contributes towards the effects of what is also known as ‘economy class syndrome.’

There has been an increase in the occurrence of DVT since the September 11th hijackings. Scientists have shown that there is a direct link to flight anxiety and the condition. It is also estimated that up to 70% of people suffer from some form of fear of flying. This means that there are hundreds of thousands of passengers at an increased risk level.

When faced with a dangerous situation, the body releases adrenaline into the bloodstream. This adrenaline thickens the blood, constricts blood vessels and also has a painkilling effect. Whilst adrenaline is useful in ‘fight or flight’ situations it hinders more than it helps when suffering with anxiety.

An independent researcher, Peter Hughes said at a press conference, “I now believe that the main risk factor in DVT is peoples fear and anxiety concerning the flight.”

He also went on to say that his studies did not alter the findings of other previous studies, it added to them. His report studied the effects of flying on commercial aircraft and not executive jets. Although private flying is thought to have less risks attached due to the increased amount of space private flyers have.

The best way to combat DVT is to try and stay calm. Flights can be nerve wracking for a lot of people, but doing your best to relax and stay calm is one of the best remedies. Also it is important to try and move around, nit just during the flight but also whilst you wait in the terminal. You should aim to stand up and walk a little at least once every hour. It is also wise to avoid alcohol and drink plenty of water before and during the flight.

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