Frequent flyers, who log more sitting hours, and travelers who take long flights, especially those who fly over four hours to their destination, put themselves at risk for VTE, according to a 2018 review published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). In fact, five percent of high-risk passengers require care after developing VTE, typically within days of the flight, and one in 10 long-distance travelers have VTE but don't realize it because they have few or no symptoms. About 10% of the 147.2 million people who fly each year qualify as frequent flyers, according to a 2016 report by Ipsos Public Affairs, putting the number of at-risk passengers around 14.7 million.
Prolonged road trips similarly put passengers at risk for VTE since they restrict movement, according to the Canadian Journal of Cardiology. “This is a dramatic example of the risks inherent in spending prolonged periods immobilized in a cramped position," shared Stanley Nattel, MD, the journal's Editor in Chief. “It is an important reminder of a public health point and reinforces the need to get up and walk around regularly when on an airplane or when forced to stay in a car for a long time."