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  • Reduce Your Risk: Keep the Blood Flowing

  • Economy Class Syndrome?

    If you're planning to travel, make sure you keep moving. 

    Researchers in Britain have found that deep vein thrombosis, sometimes known as "economy class syndrome" is more common than most people think, and it can cost travelers their lives.

    Deep vein thrombosis occurs when a person stays in the same position, such as sitting on an airplane or in a car, for prolonged periods of time. This allows blood to pool in parts of the body, especially the legs. Clots can then break off from the pool and travel to the heart or brain, causing a heart attack or stroke. 

    Although the condition is known as economy class syndrome, it seems to be more closely linked to travel habits than to ticket prices. Travelers on red-eye, overnight flights are most at risk, because they tend to sleep for hours during the flight, as are people who have a history of poor circulation.

    Reduce Your Risk:
    Keep the Blood Flowing

    The best way to reduce your risk of deep vein thrombosis is to increase your blood flow:

    • Get up and walk every few hours to increase the circulation in your legs. Research shows that sitting still for as little as two to three hours can put you at risk.

    • While sitting, flex your feet and ankles often and change your body position periodically.

    • Eat lightly before traveling-this increases the oxygen level in your blood and promotes circulation. Eating a fatty, heavy meal before traveling can have the opposite effect.

    • Drink plenty of fluids, but steer clear of alcohol and caffeinated beverages, which can increase your risk.

    • Wear support stockings while traveling-these put pressure on the leg veins to improve blood flow.

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