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Thromb Res. 2013 Jan;131 Suppl 1:S55-8. doi: 10.1016/S0049-3848(13)70023-9.

Pregnancy and travel-related thromboembolism.

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Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Leiden University Medical Center, the Netherlands.


Air travel is associated with an increased risk of venous thrombosis. The average risk in all travellers is not particularly high, but high-risk groups have been identified. One such high risk group could be pregnant women but no data are available on the exact magnitude of their risk. In this review we use results from studies performed in air travellers and pregnant women separately to estimate the risk of the combination, which leads to an estimated risk of 0.03-0.1%. Until real data are available, physicians will need to decide on a case-to-case basis how to prevent thrombosis in these women. In most passengers, prevention can be limited to encouraging exercise, and avoid prolonged immobilization through sleeping or taking a window seat. Women perceived to be at high risk (history of venous thrombosis, known thrombophilia or other risk factors for thrombosis) may benefit from a short period of LMWH therapy.

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