, Volume 28, Issue 4, pp 458-464
Date: 29 May 2009

Rates of symptomatic venous thromboembolism in US surgical patients: a retrospective administrative database study

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US national performance measures may reduce the burden of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in surgical patients. To characterize the VTE rate in US surgical patients, and identify real-world independent VTE risk-factors, a national managed-care database was analyzed. 172,320 eligible surgical discharges (23.9% orthopedic, 76.1% abdominal surgery) from the PharMetrics database (January 2001–December 2005) were evaluated. The rate of thromboprophylaxis was low in orthopedic (40.5%) and abdominal (1.8%) surgery discharges, with the event rates of symptomatic VTE in these groups being 4.7% and 3.1%, respectively. The median time to VTE was 51 days: the majority of VTE events occurred post-discharge. Independent predictors of VTE included prior VTE (odds ratio [OR] 10.2; 95% CI: 9.2–11.4), and orthopedic versus abdominal surgery (OR 1.4; 95% CI: 1.4–1.6). Patients undergoing orthopedic or abdominal surgery remain at-risk for VTE. Implementation of national performance measures may help reduce the burden of VTE.