Kidney disease and risk of venous thromboembolism: a nationwide population-based case-control study

J Thromb Haemost. 2014 Sep;12(9):1449-54. doi: 10.1111/jth.12652. Epub 2014 Jul 29.


Background: Chronic kidney disease is associated with hemostatic derangements, including both procoagulant activity and platelet dysfunction, which may influence the risk of venous thromboembolism. However, data associating kidney disease with risk of venous thromboembolism are sparse.

Objectives: We examined whether kidney disease is associated with increased risk of venous thromboembolism.

Methods: We conducted this nationwide case-control study using data from medical databases. We included 128,096 patients with a hospital diagnosis of VTE in Denmark between 1980 and 2010 (54,473 had pulmonary embolism and 73,623 had deep venous thrombosis only) and 642,426 age- and gender-matched population controls based on risk-set sampling. We identified all previous hospital diagnoses of kidney disease, including nephrotic syndrome, glomerulonephritis without nephrotic syndrome, hypertensive nephropathy, chronic pyelonephritis/interstitial nephritis, polycystic kidney disease, diabetic nephropathy, or other kidney diseases. We used conditional logistic regression models to compute odds ratios (ORs) for venous thromboembolism with adjustment for potential confounders.

Results: Kidney disease was associated with an adjusted OR for venous thromboembolism ranging from 1.41 (95% CI, 1.22-1.63) for hypertensive nephropathy to 2.89 (95% CI, 2.26-3.69) for patients with nephrotic syndrome. The association was strongest within the first 3 months after a diagnosis of chronic kidney disease (adjusted OR for nephrotic syndrome = 23.23; 95% CI, 8.58-62.89), gradually declining thereafter. The risk, however, remained elevated for more than 5 years, especially in patients with nephrotic syndrome and glomerulonephritis.

Conclusions: Kidney diseases, in particular nephrotic syndrome and glomerulonephritis, were associated with an increased risk of venous thromboembolism.

Keywords: epidemiology; kidney diseases; pulmonary embolism; risk; venous thromboembolism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Denmark
  • Female
  • Glomerulonephritis / complications
  • Glomerulonephritis / epidemiology
  • Hemostasis
  • Humans
  • Kidney Diseases / complications*
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nephritis / complications
  • Nephrotic Syndrome / complications
  • Nephrotic Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Odds Ratio
  • Pulmonary Embolism / complications*
  • Pulmonary Embolism / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Venous Thromboembolism / complications*
  • Venous Thromboembolism / epidemiology*
  • Venous Thrombosis / complications
  • Venous Thrombosis / epidemiology