Deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, is a dangerous condition that now affects as many as 900,000 people in the US each year. DVT is a blood clot which forms in the deep veins of your body, typically in lower extremities, and it blocks healthy blood circulation. If left untreated, the clot can break off and travel to the lungs, causing a potentially fatal condition called pulmonary embolism.
There are various risk factors that contribute to developing a blood clot – genetic blood disorders, heart disease, bed rest and immobilization, long traveling, excess weight, smoking, birth control pill, pregnancy, etc. Based upon these risk factors, it’s safe to say that a celebrity lifestyle is not the best to prevent conditions such as DVT – the constant sitting on the plane, together with smoking and unhealthy diet can take a toll. Here’s a few examples of famous people who struggled with the bothersome condition of deep vein thrombosis.
The 31-year-old car racing driver and the 2003 NASCAR Busch Series champion has been out of his health luck since 2010, when he was diagnosed with several blood clots in his legs and around his lungs. After a recovery and a racing comeback, the DVT reoccurred in 2013 after he’d been wearing a boot due to a foot injury.
Zsa Zsa Gabor
The Hungarian-born American actress and socialite became popular for her charm and grace in the 1952 version of Moulin Rouge. Gabor ended up in a wheelchair after a car accident in 2002, and she also had several strokes – severe risk factors that eventually resulted in a massive DVT in 2010 when she was 93 years old.
For the American television journalist, DVT and the subsequent pulmonary embolism became fatal in 2003 when he was only 39 years old. He was traveling with the US Third Infantry Division, reporting from Iraq when he suddenly passed away. He reportedly complained of cramps in his leg and pain behind the knee but never looked for medical treatment. Without medical attention, the DVT progressed into a fatal case of pulmonary embolism, leaving Bloom’s wife Melanie a widow and his three daughters without a father.
With all the media attention, the 34-year-old professional tennis player is probably the most well-known example of a DVT patient. Following two foot surgeries in 2011, Williams traveled on plane and was later hospitalized with a DVT and a pulmonary embolism. Thanks to immediate doctor’s intervention, Serena was soon back on the tennis courts.