MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Marc Blondon, MD
Division of Angiology and Hemostasis, Department of Specialties of Medicine, Geneva University Hospitals and Faculty of Medicine, Geneva, Switzerland
Seattle Epidemiologic Research and Information Center, Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Research and Development, Seattle, WA
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Venous thromboembolism, a condition including deep vein thrombosis (blood clots) and pulmonary embolism, is more common in older than younger patients. However, pregnancy and particularly the postpartum period are times at greater risk of blood clots in women. It is important to understand the risk and the risk factors for thrombosis in the postpartum period to guide the use of preventive measures such as heparin, an anticoagulant treatment, or leg compression devices.
Our study summarizes the evidence on the link between C-sections and blood clots from the past 35 years.
Our meta-analysis demonstrates that:
- C-section carries a 4-fold increased risk of blood clots in the postpartum period, compared with vaginal deliveries ;
- that this risk is most prominent but not restricted to emergency C-section ;
- and that women who undergo elective C-section are also at higher risk than women who have a vaginal delivery.
- Importantly, we estimated an absolute risk of blood clots after a C-section of 2-4 per 1000 pregnancies: on average, 3 out of 1000 women after C-section will develop a blood clot.