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