, Volume 90, Issue 5, pp 585-594
Date: 02 Feb 2011

Long-term survival of patients with a history of venous thromboembolism

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Limited data are available regarding long-term survival following venous thromboembolism (VTE). The objectives of this study are to evaluate long-term survival by retrospective survival analysis in patients with a history of VTE and to compare their survival with that of the general population. Patients with a history of VTE (min. 3 months after VTE) without cancer, who were referred to our department between 1994 and 2007, were included in the analysis. Information concerning mortality was available through the Austrian Central Death Register. The survival of patients was compared with that of the age- and gender-matched general Austrian population. Three thousand two hundred-nine patients (mean age, 46.2; range, 14–89 years) were included. Median time interval between the first VTE and inclusion was 14 months; median observation period was 6.6 years. During the considered time period, 169 patients (5.3%) died. The cumulative survival in patients was 0.97 and 0.87 after 5 and 10 years; men had a higher death rate than women; patients with idiopathic VTE had a less favourable survival than those with a triggering event. When patients were compared to the general population, the cumulative relative survival was 1.02 (95% CI 1.00–1.03). In none of the analysed subgroups (different sites of VTE; idiopathic vs. secondary VTE) was a reduced cumulative relative survival found. The relative survival of male patients was even slightly better, whereas that of women equalled that of the normal population. Our results indicate that after the initial phase, VTE does not seem to impair long-term survival of patients with a history of VTE without cancer.

Dr. Reitter is recipient of a Bayer Haemophilia Clinical Training Award.