Venous thromboembolism isn’t as well known as stroke or heart attack, but this cardiovascular foe can be just as deadly.

It’s a condition that includes the formation of a blood clot in a deep vein typically in the leg or pelvic veins (deep vein thrombosis) and pulmonary embolism which results if a clot dislodges and travels to the lungs. There are up to 600,000 cases annually in the United States and a 30 percent mortality rate if left untreated.

Raising awareness of dangers of thrombosis is the goal of this year’s international observance of World Thrombosis Day set for Oct. 13, 2014.

“Thrombosis, whether occurring in an artery or a vein, is often preventable and treatable with medications, delivered orally, subcutaneously, intravenously or locally using specialized catheters that can also be employed to physically extract the blood clot,” says Richard Becker, MD, director and physician-in-chief of the UC Heart, Lung and Vascular Institute.