Nearly 10,000 Danes are admitted to hospital with blood poisoning every year - and now, new research from Aarhus University in Denmark shows that these patients face an increased risk of getting blood clots.
Study researchers followed more than 4,000 Danes admitted with blood poisoning and showed that their risk of getting a blood clot in either the brain or the heart is higher relative to patients admitted with other acute illnesses.
Specifically, the risk of a blood clot was highest within the first 30 days after the infection - which was twice the risk for other acutely admitted patients and a staggering 18 times the risk faced by the general population.
In recent years there has been a growing interest in the link between the risk of blood clots and infections such as blood poisoning - and this study shows a clear connection between the two.
Hopefully, this new knowledge can be used by physicians to begin relevant treatment for blood poisoning quicker.
These results indicate that blood clots are more likely to happen in blood poisoning victims because of the increased strain placed on the heart and blood vessels by the infection.
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), blood clots in the legs or lungs (deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism) kill an American about every 5 minutes.
In a large, long-term study, researchers followed over 30,000 adults who were 45 years or older for 4.6 years and rated participants' heart health using seven health indicators.
Based on their results, they recommend that adopting seven simple lifestyle steps can help to reduce overall risk of harmful blood clots anywhere in the body. These included being physically active, avoiding smoking, following a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy body mass index (BMI) - along with controlling blood sugar levels, blood pressure (BP) and cholesterol.
Of these, maintaining ideal levels of physical activity and BMI were the most significant lifestyle changes related to lower risk of blood clots.