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Editor's Correspondence
August 12/26, 2002

The Clot Thickens! In Thin Air

Author Affiliations

Copyright 2002 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2002

Arch Intern Med. 2002;162(15):1783. doi:

We read with interest the excellent review article on hypercoagulability syndromes by Thomas.1 However, the author does not mention high altitude as an important predisposing factor for venous thrombosis. High altitude can precipitate thrombosis due to hypobaric hypoxia and its effect on the coagulation system—especially increased factor VIIa activity.2,3 In addition, dehydration, polycythemia, and vascular spasms may also be involved in the increased tendency to venous thrombosis at high altitude.3

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