Infections raise risk of dangerous blood clots in the elderly, study finds

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Seniors suffering from virtually any type of infection are more likely to be hospitalized for dangerous blood clots in their deep veins or lungs, a new study finds.

People whose infections that develop during a previous nursing home or hospital stay are up to seven times more likely to be hospitalized for such a clot, according to University of Michigan Health System investigators who studied data from Medicare and the national Health and Retirement Study.

The study coincides with nationwide efforts to reduce hospital readmissions as well as rising hospitalization rates for venous thromboembolism, experts observed.

“We would like to decrease the number of preventable hospitalizations, both for the benefit of the patient and to help bring down the cost of medicine,” lead author Mary Rogers, Ph.D., said. “We wanted to study the triggers of hospitalization to help us understand what is driving such admissions and to think about actions we can take in order to prevent these hospitalizations.”

The study was released April 3, ahead of print, in the journal Circulation.

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