Background/objectives: We prospectively measured change in quality of life (QOL) during the 2 years after a diagnosis of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and evaluated determinants of QOL, including development of the post-thrombotic syndrome (PTS).
Patients/methods: Consecutive patients with acute DVT were recruited from 2001 to 2004 at eight hospitals in Canada. At study visits at baseline, and 1, 4, 8, 12 and 24 months, clinical data were collected, standardized PTS assessments were performed, and QOL questionnaires were self-completed. Generic QOL was measured using the Short-Form Health Survey-36 (SF-36) questionnaire. Venous disease-specific QOL was measured using the Venous Insufficiency Epidemiological and Economic Study (VEINES)-QOL/Sym questionnaire. The change in QOL scores over a 2-year follow-up was assessed. The influence of PTS and other characteristics on QOL at 2 years was evaluated using multivariable regression analyses.
Results: Among the 387 patients recruited, the average age was 56 years, two-thirds were outpatients, and 60% had proximal DVT. The cumulative incidence of PTS was 47%. On average, QOL scores improved during follow-up. However, patients who developed PTS had lower scores at all visits and significantly less improvement in QOL over time (P-values for PTS*time interaction were 0.001, 0.012, 0.014 and 0.006 for PCS, MCS, VEINES-QOL and VEINES-Sym). Multivariable regression analyses showed that PTS (P < 0.0001), age (P = 0.0009), proximal DVT (P = 0.01) and inpatient status (P = 0.04) independently predicted 2-year SF-36 PCS scores. PTS alone independently predicted 2-year VEINES-QOL (P < 0.0001) and VEINES-Sym (P < 0.0001) scores.
Conclusions: Development of PTS is the principal determinant of health-related QOL 2 years after DVT. Our study provides prognostic information on patient-reported outcomes after DVT and emphasizes the need for effective prevention and treatment of the PTS.