Medical Q&As

High blood pressure - DVT risk?

I am about to fly to the USA and I am currently taking two different tablets a day for high blood pressure. Is there any risk of me getting thrombosis because of the blood pressure and if so is there anything I can do to stop this.

The fact that you have high blood pressure and are taking pills for it does not increase your risk of developing DVT (deep venous thrombosis) during your long haul flight to the USA. Increased risk of DVT is associated with stagnation of blood flow within the leg veins and this is not a feature of high blood pressure. You only need to take the standard precautions that are recommended for all long haul passengers. Do not remain in your seat for the total duration of the flight. Get out of your seat a number of times and walk around the cabin. This will ensure that the blood in your leg veins is circulating freely and not stagnating. If you are a smoker you should not smoke during the flight but since most airlines now ban smoking this is an academic point. There is some evidence that taking an aspirin before the flight can reduce the risk of DVT and this would be a reasonable measure to take assuming that there are no medical contraindications to you doing so. If you were in any doubt on this point your GP would be able to advise you. Also make sure to drink plenty of water on the flight because you can become slightly dehydrated on a long haul flight, which may increase the risk of DVT.