, Volume 36, Issue 4, pp 475-483

The Swiss cohort of elderly patients with venous thromboembolism (SWITCO65+): rationale and methodology

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Abstract

Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is common and has a high impact on morbidity, mortality, and costs of care. Although most of the patients with VTE are aged ≥65 years, there is little data about the medical outcomes in the elderly with VTE. The Swiss Cohort of Elderly Patients with VTE (SWITCO65+) is a prospective multicenter cohort study of in- and outpatients aged ≥65 years with acute VTE from all five Swiss university and four high-volume non-university hospitals. The goal is to examine which clinical and biological factors and processes of care drive short- and long-term medical outcomes, health-related quality of life, and medical resource utilization in elderly patients with acute VTE. The cohort also includes a large biobank with biological material from each participant. From September 2009 to March 2012, 1,863 elderly patients with VTE were screened and 1003 (53.8 %) were enrolled in the cohort. Overall, 51.7 % of patients were aged ≥75 years and 52.7 % were men. By October 16, 2012, after an average follow-up time of 512 days, 799 (79.7 %) patients were still actively participating. SWITCO65+ is a unique opportunity to study short- and long-term outcomes in elderly patients with VTE. The Steering Committee encourages national and international collaborative research projects related to SWITCO65+, including sharing anonymized data and biological samples.