VIENNA, Va., May 9, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Blood Clot Alliance (NBCA), in partnership with the Alexandra L. Rowan Memorial Foundation, will sharpen its focus on the unique blood clotting risks of women, as it recognizes National Women's Health Week (NWHW), May 8 through 14, 2016.
During NWHW, NBCA will serve up daily messages across all of its social media channels, and via a focused Thunderclap campaign, specifically focused on the information women need to know about life-threatening blood clots.
The impetus for this dedicated program during NWHW rests with the fact that, throughout their lives, women face an increased risk for dangerous blood clots when making crucial choices connected to birth control and family planning, pregnancy and childbirth, and the treatment of menopause symptoms later in life. For example:
- Estrogen-based birth control pills increase a woman's blood clot risk three-fold, and newer forms of the pill, as well as estrogen-based birth control patches and rings, double that risk.
- Pregnancy increases blood clot risks four-fold, with the greatest risk occurring the week immediately following delivery, when the risk increases to 100-fold.
- Hormone therapy containing estrogen and used to treat menopause symptoms can increase blood clot risks three-fold.
Public Health Impact
Each year, up to 900,000 people in the United States are affected by blood clots. About 100,000 of these individuals, or about 274 people each day, will die due to a blood clot. In fact, the number of deaths due to blood clots each year is greater than the annual number of deaths due to AIDS, breast cancer, and car accidents combined.
"We need to sound the alarm and increase awareness about blood clot risks unique to women, particularly as they relate to estrogen-based birth control," explains David Rowan, head of the Rowan Foundation, and father to the Foundation's namesake Alexandra L. Rowan, who, at the age of 23, lost her life suddenly due to a blood clot in her lung. "All women need to understand the potential risks they face, as well as the options they have to reduce or avoid these risks."
Research conducted by the American Public Health Association shows that nearly three-quarters of the public know little or nothing about deep vein thrombosis (DVT), or blood clots that form in the deep veins of the legs. Similar NBCA research shows that fewer than 10% of a national sample had any knowledge of DVT and pulmonary embolism (PE), or blood clots in the lungs, and that only 30% of people who did recognize the term "blood clot" were familiar with blood clot signs, symptoms, or risk factors.
The Rowan Foundation, focused on the need to increase awareness of blood clot risks among women who use estrogen-based birth control, has provided funding to NBCA to advance their shared goals connected to women's health and blood clot risks. The fruits of this partnership currently rest with the online educational portal that serves as the centerpiece of NBCA's Women & Blood Clots program. At this site, visitors can access important information, including a multi-part video series, focused on blood clot risk factors, signs and symptoms, and prevention measures specific to the unique blood clot risks women face. Visitors to the site also can sign up to join NBCA's Stop the Clot™OnlineSupport Group and Discussion Community, powered by Inspire, where women can share their blood clot experiences, exchange information, and learn from each other.
"National Women's Health Week, spearheaded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health, provides the perfect opportunity for us to amplify important public health information focused on women and blood clots," says NBCA's CEO Randy Fenninger, a survivor of bilateral PEs. "Working with the Rowan Foundation, our aim is to expand this program in important ways that will contribute to a reduction in the number of women whose lives are affected or cut short by deadly blood clots."
NBCA is a non-profit, voluntary health organization dedicated to advancing the prevention, early diagnosis, and successful treatment of life-threatening blood clots, such as deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and clot-provoked stroke. NBCA accomplishes its mission through programs that build public awareness, educate patients and healthcare professionals, and promote supportive public and private sector policy.
For more information about blood clot risks, signs/symptoms and prevention, please visit www.stoptheclot.org.
For more information about the work of the Alexandra L. Rowan Memorial Foundation, please visit www.alexrowanfoundation.org
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SOURCE National Blood Clot Alliance