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Who Is at Risk for Excessive Blood Clotting?

People at highest risk for excessive blood clotting have both acquired and genetic risk factors. For example, if you smoke and have the Factor V Leiden mutation and atherosclerosis, you're at higher risk than someone who has only one of these risk factors.

For more information about the diseases, conditions, and other factors that can lead to excessive blood clotting, go to "What Causes Excessive Blood Clotting?"

Genetic Risk Factors

You're more likely to have a genetic cause of excessive blood clotting if you have:

  • Family members who have had dangerous blood clots
  • A personal history of repeated blood clots before the age of 40
  • A personal history of unexplained miscarriages

Factor V Leiden is one of the most common genetic mutations that can alter the blood clotting process. This mutation accounts for 40–50 percent of genetic blood clotting disorders in Caucasians.

Other Risk Factors

Another risk factor for excessive blood clotting is antiphospholipid antibody syndrome. APS is an autoimmune disorder that can trigger blood clots to form in the body's arteries and veins. These blood clots can lead to many health problems, including frequent miscarriages.

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May 30, 2012 Last Updated Icon

The NHLBI updates Health Topics articles on a biennial cycle based on a thorough review of research findings and new literature. The articles also are updated as needed if important new research is published. The date on each Health Topics article reflects when the content was originally posted or last revised.