Researchers analysed the results of nine comparative trials carried out in the UK and Italy on nearly 2,500 flyers over a two-year period. Each study contained a group wearing knee-length graduated compression stockings and a control group who did not wear the stockings.
They discovered that only two of the 1,237 participants wearing the stockings developed DVT compared with 46 of the 1,245 people in the control groups. Having carried out a detailed weighted analysis of the results and the factors examined in each of the nine studies, the authors concluded that a passenger not wearing graduated compressions stockings was 12.5 times more likely to develop DVT.
All the participants who took part in the studies were also advised to walk or exercise regularly, drink water, avoid salty food and make sure that bulky baggage didn't restrict their leg movement.
"Our research review shows that the modern-day equivalent is a useful way of reducing the risk of DVT when flying, particularly on long-haul flights. They are also easy to use and have no side effects” points out co-author Professor Hsiu-Fang Hsieh from Fooyin University in Taiwan. "However, travellers should not see wearing the stockings as a substitute for following sensible advice, like moving regularly and avoiding dehydration."
The review found that although the stockings reduced the risk of DVT, they did little to reduce the incidence of superficial venous thrombosis in low, medium or high risk participants.
MEDICA.de; Source: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.