Background/objectives: The occurrence of and risk factors for venous thrombosis (VT) complicating hospital admission in unselected medical inpatients have not been widely studied.
Patients and methods: In a 400-bed teaching hospital we identified all cases of VT complicating hospital admission between September 2000 and September 2002 using discharge codes and chart review. Controls were randomly selected adult inpatients frequency matched to cases for medical service.
Results: The incidence of VT complicating hospital admission was 7.6 per 1000 admissions. On average, VT was diagnosed on the fifth hospital day. The median age of the 65 cases and 123 controls was 68 years and 45% were men. Cases had a 4-fold higher death rate than controls [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.9, 8.8]. At admission, trauma within 3 months, leg edema, pneumonia, platelet count > 350 x 10(3) mm(-3) and certain cancers were associated with risk of VT. Age, body mass index, and acute myocardial infarction were not associated with VT risk. One of three published VT risk models was able to risk stratify patients and was associated with a 2.6-fold increased risk of VT (95% CI 1.3, 5.5). Use of VT prophylaxis did not differ in cases and controls; prophylaxis was used < 1/3 of hospital days in 52% of patients.
Conclusions: VT was common among medical inpatients. Of the risk factors identified, elevated platelet count has not been previously reported. Only one of three published risk scores was associated with risk of inpatient VT. Future study should improve upon risk prediction models for in-hospital VT among medical patients.