Background: : To determine if diabetes mellitus is a risk factor for venous thromboembolism (VTE).
Research design and methods: : Data from the National Hospital Discharge Survey were analyzed from 1979 to 2005. International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification codes were used to identify diseases.
Results: : Among 92,240,000 patients with diabetes mellitus discharged between 1979 and 2005, 1,267,000 (1.4%) had VTE. The relative risk for VTE was elevated only in patients younger than 50 to 59 years and was highest in patients aged 20 to 29 years (relative risk = 1.73). Relative risks of VTE with uncomplicated type 1 diabetes mellitus and uncomplicated type 2 diabetes mellitus were similar and also age dependent. In patients with uncomplicated diabetes mellitus who did not have obesity, stroke, heart failure, or cancer, compared with those who did not have diabetes mellitus and did not have any of these comorbid conditions, the relative risk for VTE was 1.52 in patients aged 20 to 29 years and 1.19 in patients aged 30 to 39 years. In older patients, the relative risk of VTE in patients with diabetes mellitus was not increased.
Conclusions: : Diabetes mellitus carries an increased risk for VTE, which is apparent only in younger patients in whom comorbid conditions that also increase the risk of VTE are unlikely to be present.