Leg sprain link to rise in blood clots

Sprained ankles and other minor injuries to the leg may be associated with a threefold increase in the risk of blood clots, research from the Netherlands suggests.

Major injuries are a known risk factor for venous thrombosis, but until now experts have been uncertain whether this link is due to injury or related factors such as surgery.

The study included 2,471 patients who developed venous thrombosis. This showed that 11.4 per cent had a minor injury in the three months before the clot, compared with 4.4 per cent of controls.

'GPs should identify subjects who are at high risk of developing venous thrombosis,' note the researchers from Leiden University Medical Centre.

Arch Intern Med 2008; 168: 21-6, live links at http://www.healthcarerepublic.com

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