What causes hypercoagulable states?

Updated: Sep 18, 2020
  • Author: Daniel R Ouellette, MD, FCCP; Chief Editor: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP  more...
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The complex and delicate balance between coagulation and anticoagulation is altered by many diseases, by obesity, or by trauma. It can also occur after surgery.

Concomitant hypercoagulability may be present in disease states where prolonged venous stasis or injury to veins occurs.

Hypercoagulable states may be acquired or congenital. Factor V Leiden mutation causing resistance to activated protein C is the most common risk factor. Factor V Leiden mutation is present in up to 5% of the normal population and is the most common cause of familial thromboembolism.

Primary or acquired deficiencies in protein C, protein S, and antithrombin III are other risk factors. Deficiency of these natural blood thinners is responsible for 10% of venous thrombosis in younger people.

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