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E-thrombosis: A Modern Health Concern

The prevalence of e-thrombosis is challenging to pinpoint due to its recent recognition and overlap with other forms of deep vein thrombosis
12:00 AM May 29, 2024 IST | DR. ZUBAIR SALEEM
e thrombosis  a modern health concern

What is E-thrombosis?



E-thrombosis, or electronic thrombosis, is a medical condition characterized by the formation of blood clots due to prolonged periods of immobility while using electronic devices. This modern health issue arises from extended use of computers, tablets, and smartphones, often associated with sedentary behavior in both professional and personal settings. Similar to the “economy class syndrome” seen in air travelers, e-thrombosis highlights the dangers of long-term inactivity, emphasizing the importance of movement and proper ergonomics.







The prevalence of e-thrombosis is challenging to pinpoint due to its recent recognition and overlap with other forms of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). However, with increasing screen time in both children and adults, the potential for e-thrombosis is significant. Studies suggest that individuals in sedentary occupations, such as IT professionals, gamers, and even students, may be at higher risk. As our reliance on electronic devices continues to grow, awareness and prevalence of e-thrombosis are likely to increase.



Risk Factors

Several factors can increase the risk of developing e-thrombosis, including:

  1. Prolonged Sitting: Sitting for extended periods, particularly without taking breaks, can significantly reduce blood flow in the legs.
  2. Poor Posture: Sitting in positions that restrict blood flow, such as crossing legs or sitting with bent knees, can exacerbate the risk.
  3. Age: Older adults are generally at higher risk due to decreased mobility and other age-related health factors.
  4. Obesity: Excess weight can put additional pressure on veins, leading to a higher likelihood of clot formation.
  5. Genetic Predisposition: A family history of blood clots can increase the risk of DVT and e-thrombosis.


Aggravating Factors

Certain behaviors and conditions can aggravate the risk of e-thrombosis:

  1. Dehydration: Inadequate fluid intake can thicken the blood, making clots more likely.
  2. Smoking: Smoking damages blood vessels and increases clotting risk.
  3. Sedentary Lifestyle: Lack of regular physical activity can contribute to poor circulation.
  4. Medical Conditions: Conditions such as varicose veins, heart disease, and previous clotting disorders can heighten risk.


Association with Smoking

Smoking is a well-known risk factor for many cardiovascular diseases, including thrombosis. The chemicals in tobacco smoke damage the lining of blood vessels, increasing the likelihood of clot formation. Smoking also raises blood pressure and decreases the availability of oxygen in the blood, compounding the risk factors associated with e-thrombosis. Smokers who also lead sedentary lifestyles, such as those spending significant time using electronic devices, face an even greater risk of developing blood clots.



Recognizing the symptoms of e-thrombosis is crucial for early intervention. Common signs include:

  1. Swelling: Typically in one leg, often accompanied by pain and tenderness.
  2. Pain: Aching or cramping in the affected leg, usually starting in the calf.
  3. Skin Changes: Red or discolored skin on the leg.
  4. Warmth: A feeling of increased warmth in the swollen or painful area.


If a blood clot travels to the lungs, it can cause a pulmonary embolism, which is a medical emergency. Symptoms of a pulmonary embolism include sudden shortness of breath, chest pain, rapid heart rate, and coughing up blood.



Diagnosing e-thrombosis involves several steps:

  1. Medical History and Physical Examination: A healthcare provider will review symptoms, medical history, and conduct a physical examination.
  2. Ultrasound: This imaging test is commonly used to detect blood clots in the veins.
  3. D-dimer Test: A blood test that measures a substance released when a blood clot breaks up. High levels can indicate the presence of an abnormal blood clot.
  4. Venography: An X-ray test where a dye is injected into a large vein to make the blood vessels visible.



Preventing e-thrombosis involves lifestyle changes and habits that promote healthy blood circulation:

  1. Regular Breaks: Take frequent breaks to stand up, stretch, and walk around. Aim for at least five minutes every hour.
  2. Proper Hydration: Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
  3. Ergonomics: Ensure proper seating and desk arrangements to avoid restrictive postures.
  4. Exercise: Incorporate regular physical activity into your daily routine to improve circulation.
  5. Compression Stockings: Consider wearing compression stockings if at high risk for DVT.



Treatment for e-thrombosis focuses on preventing clot growth and reducing the risk of complications:

  1. Anticoagulants: Blood-thinning medications like warfarin or heparin are commonly prescribed to prevent new clots from forming and existing clots from growing.
  2. Compression Stockings: These can help reduce swelling and prevent clots from developing.
  3. Lifestyle Changes: Adopting a more active lifestyle, improving diet, and quitting smoking are essential steps.
  4. Medical Procedures: In severe cases, procedures such as thrombolysis (breaking up clots using medication) or thrombectomy (surgical removal of clots) may be necessary.


Surprising Facts About the Heart

  • Incredible Powerhouse: The human heart beats around 100,000 times a day. Each minute, your heart pumps around 5.5 liters (1.5 gallons) of blood. This adds up to about 7,600 liters (2,000 gallons) daily.
  • Lifelong Workhorse: Over an average lifetime, the heart will beat about 2.5 billion times.
  • Blood Vessel Network: Your body’s blood vessels, if laid end to end, would extend about 60,000 miles (96,560 kilometers), which is more than twice the circumference of the Earth.
  • Rapid Circulation: It takes only about 20 seconds for blood to circulate through the entire vascular system.
  • Heart Size: The average adult heart is about the size of two fists. It weighs around 10 to 12 ounces (280 to 340 grams) in men and 8 to 10 ounces (230 to 280 grams) in women.
  • Electric Heart: The heart’s electrical system controls the timing of the heartbeat. The sinus node, often called the heart’s natural pacemaker, generates electrical impulses that regulate heartbeats.
  • Silent Worker: While the heart beats regularly without conscious thought, emotional states can significantly influence its rate. Love, excitement, and fear can all cause noticeable changes in your heartbeat.
  • Unique Heartbeat: Every heart has a unique rhythm. Just like fingerprints, no two heartbeats are exactly alike, making it possible to identify individuals by their heart patterns.
  • Embryonic Heart: The human heart starts beating at around 21 to 22 days after conception, often before the mother even knows she is pregnant.
  • Heart Cells: Unlike many other cells in the body, heart muscle cells (cardiomyocytes) do not regenerate quickly. Once damaged, they heal with scar tissue, which can affect heart function.
  • Gender Differences: Women’s hearts typically beat faster than men’s. The average heart rate for women is around 78 to 82 beats per minute, while for men it’s about 70 to 72 beats per minute.
  • Heart Attack Timing: Most heart attacks occur between 6 a.m. and noon. This is believed to be due to higher levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, released during the morning hours.
  • Laughter is the Best Medicine: Laughing can increase blood flow by about 20%, helping to improve vascular function and reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • Heart Disease Prevalence: Heart disease is the leading cause of death globally, accounting for 17.9 million deaths per year, which is about 31% of all global deaths.