, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 9-13

Identifying high-risk individuals for cardiovascular disease: similarities between venous and arterial thrombosis in perspective. A 2011 update

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Abstract

The aim of this narrative review is to assess the potential association between arterial and venous thrombotic events. Several studies have suggested that the major cardiovascular risk factors, alone or in combination (e.g. in the metabolic syndrome), are significantly associated with venous thromboembolism (VTE). Recent evidence also suggests that microalbuminuria and non-alcoholic liver steatosis, both markers of arterial disease, may independently predict the risk for VTE. An association between a history of VTE and the risk of future arterial events is also well documented, inflammation and endothelial dysfunction being thought as the common soil on which further investigation in the area should be pursued. The existence of a common pathophysiologic background is also suggested by the evidence that aspirin, low-molecular weight heparin (LMWH) and warfarin are recommended for the prevention and treatment of both venous and arterial thrombosis. In addition, rosuvastatin recently has been shown to prevent venous thromboembolism (VTE) in a time-dependent fashion. Together, these data argue for patients with a history of VTE as being at intermediate/high cardiovascular risk, a concept that implies that VTE patients should undergo a careful assessment for the presence of cardiovascular risk factors and adequate lifestyle changes. The value of routine screening for asymptomatic atherosclerosis (e.g. 2D echocardiography, microalbuminuria, arterial vessel ultrasonography) in these patients should be confirmed in future studies.