Seasonal variation in venous thromboembolism (VTE) risk in individuals with familial predisposition to VTE has not been explored. This nationwide study aimed to determine whether there are age- and sex-specific seasonal differences in risk of hospitalisation of VTE among individuals with and without a family history of VTE. The Swedish Multi-Generation Register was linked to Hospital Discharge Register data for the period 1964-2010. Seasonal variation in first VTE events in 1987-2010 for individuals with and without a family history of VTE (siblings or parents) was determined by several independent methods. Stratified analyses were performed according to age, sex, and VTE subtype (pulmonary embolism [PE] or deep venous thrombosis [DVT]). Seasonal variation in VTE incidence, mostly with a peak during the winter, was observed in both sexes in individuals with and without family history with overall peak-to-low ratios (PLRs) of 1.15 and 1.21, respectively. The peak day was December 25 and February 1 for those with and without a family history of VTE, respectively. Seasonal variation was strongest among individuals aged >50 years. Among individuals aged 0-25 years with a family history, the peak for VTE was in July (PLR = 1.20). Significant seasonal variation was observed for PE and DVT with the exception of DVT among those with a family history (PLR = 1.01). In conclusion, our data support the presence of a modest seasonal variation of VTE among individuals with and without a family history of VTE. However, young age and family history may modify and attenuate the effect of season on VTE.
Keywords: Venous thrombosis; epidemiology; familial thrombosis; risk factors; seasons.