Factor V Leiden is caused by a genetic DNA mutation that can occur in both men and women, increasing the chance of blood clots. Deep vein thrombophilia is more likely to develop in people with the gene, and women have a higher risk of blood clots during pregnancy. People with the factor V Leiden gene do not require treatment unless they have a clot. The mutation gets its name from the protein gene F5 and the city where this variation was discovered: Leiden, Holland.
Factor V Leiden is the most common inherited reason that people develop deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolisms; individuals with the mutation have a higher risk of developing clots than the average population. The increase ranges from ten-fold for people with one copy of the gene compared to people without the gene, to sixty-fold for people with two copies. Even so, however, the overall risk of anyone developing a blood clot is low, averaging one in one hundred thousand. Factor V Leiden is most common in people with caucasian European ancestry.
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