With asthma rates having gone up over the decades, this could spell higher rates of another health issue. This is because a health breakthrough has found that people with asthma have a higher risk of “pulmonary embolism,” or deep vein thrombosis.
Researchers assessed whether people with moderate or severe asthma had a higher risk of developing these conditions, which are linked. Pulmonary embolism strikes when the big artery in your lung or bronchi is blocked. This often results from deep vein thrombosis—which is a blood clot in the veins that can then break off and pass into the lung.
We’ve known in the past that lung diseases have a link to blood clots, but this is the first study to look at any potential links with asthma. So on that note, they examined 648 Dutch adults with asthma, while taking note of each participant’s history of asthma, medication used, and any previous diagnoses of pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis. They compared these results to people without asthma.
PLUS: Who faces double the risk of thrombosis?
And with that, they found that those with severe asthma faced a nearly nine-times greater risk of pulmonary embolism compared to the general population. Also, mild-to-moderate asthma was linked to a 3.5-times increased risk of pulmonary embolism.
So we now have the first link between asthma and pulmonary embolism. Both patients and doctors should be aware of this increased risk and take certain steps to help prevent it from occurring. Those especially come into play when you are traveling, as sitting for a long time ups your risk of a blood clot in the leg. In airplanes, walk around every hour or so. In cars, stop each hour and walk around. Exercise while you sit, even; flex, extend, and rotate your ankles, for instance. Try not to cross your legs for a long period of time. Avoid dehydration by drinking plenty of fluids. Consider support stockings, which deliver pressure that keeps blood from pooling up in deep veins.
Sources for Today’s Articles:
Attention Asthmatics: Why You Have to Monitor This Condition
Majoor, C., et al., “Risk of deep-vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism in asthma,” European Respiratory Journal, published online December 20, 2012.