Causes of death after first time venous thromboembolism

Thromb J. 2024 Feb 1;22(1):16. doi: 10.1186/s12959-024-00586-8.


Background: Causes of death after first time community-acquired venous thromboembolism (VTE) diagnosed in unselected patients at the emergency department (ED) was investigated.

Materials and methods: The study consists of all patients > 18 years of age who had a visit for any medical reason to any of 5 different ED in Stockholm County, Sweden from 1st January 2016 to 31st December 2017. We have identified all patients with a first registered incident VTE; deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and/or pulmonary embolism (PE) during the study period. Cox regression models were used to estimate hazards ratios (HR) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for all-cause mortality and cause-specific death in patients with DVT or PE using all other patients as the reference group.

Results: In total, 359,884 patients had an ED visit during the study period of whom about 2.1% were diagnosed with VTE (DVT = 4,384, PE = 3,212). The patients with VTE were older compared to the control group. During a mean follow up of 2.1 years, 1567 (21%) and 23,741(6.7%) patients died within the VTE and reference group, respectively. The adjusted risk of all-cause mortality was nearly double in patients with DVT (HR 1.7; 95% CI, 1.5-1.8) and more than 3-fold in patients with PE (HR 3.4; 95% CI, 3.1-3.6). While the risk of cancer related death was nearly 3-fold in patient with DVT (HR 2.7; 95% CI, 2.4-3.1), and 5-fold in PE (HR 5.4; 95% CI, 4.9-6.0 respectively). The diagnosis of PE during the ED visit was associated with a significantly higher risk of cardiovascular death (HR 2.2; 95% CI, 1.9-2.6).

Conclusion: Patients with VTE have an elevated risk of all-cause mortality, including cardiovascular death.

Keywords: Cardiovascular death; Deep vein thrombosis; Emergency department visit; Pulmonary embolism; Venous thromboembolism.