The American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) have published advise in the medical journal CHEST detailing risk factors for DVT and measures to diagnose and prevent DVT.
They researched a range of risk factors for the development of DVT in long-distance travellers. These included the use of oral contraceptives, sitting in a window seat, advanced age, dehydration, alcohol intake, pregnancy and sitting in an economy seat compared to business class.
The reviewers conclude that developing DVT or pulmonary embolism from a long-distance flight is generally unlikely, but that the following factors increased people’s risk:
previous DVT or pulmonary embolism or known ‘thrombophilic disorder’
recent surgery or trauma
oestrogen use, including oral contraceptives
sitting in a window seat
They conclude that long-distance travellers sitting in a window seat tend to have limited mobility, which is responsible for their increased risk of DVT.