Background: Obesity is an established risk factor for venous thromboembolism (VTE), but it is uncertain how this is mediated. Insulin resistance has a central role in the pathophysiology of the metabolic effects of obesity.
Objective: We aimed to investigate whether insulin resistance is a risk factor for VTE.
Methods: For this analysis we used the PREVEND prospective community-based observational cohort study. Insulin resistance was measured as HOMA-IR (homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance) and fasting insulin. VTE was assessed using databases of the national registries of hospital discharge diagnoses, death certificates and the regional anticoagulation clinic.
Results: Out of 7393 subjects, 114 developed VTE during a median follow-up of 10.5 years. High HOMA-IR was associated with increased risk of VTE after adjustment for traditional cardiovascular risk factors, CRP and markers of endothelial dysfunction (hazard ratio [HR], 1.38; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 1.09-1.75; P=0.007). When body mass index (BMI) was added to the model, BMI was a strong risk predictor for VTE (HR, 1.53; 95% CI, 1.24-1.88; P<0.001) whereas HOMA-IR no longer showed such an association (HR, 1.11; 95% CI, 0.85-1.43; P=0.45). Results were similar for fasting insulin.
Conclusion: Our population-based cohort study shows an increased risk of VTE in subjects with increasing insulin resistance but not independently of BMI.
© 2012 International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis.