(HealthDay News) — Global public awareness about thrombosis, venous thromboembolism in particular, is low, according to a study published online June 18 in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

Aaron M. Wendelboe, PhD, from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City, and colleagues examined the global awareness of thrombosis. Eight hundred respondents were surveyed in their native language from each of nine countries, including Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The researchers found that the proportion of respondents who were aware of thrombosis, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and pulmonary embolism (PE) was lower than the proportion who were aware of other thrombotic disorders, such as heart attack and stroke (68, 44, and 54% vs. 88 and 85%, respectively). The proportion aware of thrombosis, DVT, and PE was also lower than the proportion aware of health conditions such as hypertension, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and AIDS (90, 85, 82, and 87%, respectively). Lower awareness correlated with younger age and being male, although variation was observed across countries. Few respondents (45%) were aware that blood clots were preventable, and that risk factors included cancer, hospitalization, and surgery (16, 25, and 36%, respectively).

“Campaigns to increase public awareness about VTE are needed to reduce the burden from this largely preventable thrombotic disorder,” the authors write.

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Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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