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Heart attack and stroke risks are increased in those with deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE)

Henry I. Bussey, Pharm.D.
January, 2008

Danish investigators in a 20 year study evaluated the risk of myocardial infarction (MI) or stroke in 25,199 patients with deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and 16,925 patients with pulmonary embolism (PE). Compared to matched controls, those with a DVT had a 1.6 relative risk of MI and a 2.19 relative risk of a stroke within the first year after the DVT. For those with a PE, the relative risk for MI was 2.60 and for stroke was 2.93 within the first year. The risk persisted for the remainder of the 20 year study but was considerably lower with a 20% to 40% increase. Interestingly, whether the DVT or PE was provoked or unprovoked did not seem to make a difference. Whether there is a cause and effect relationship between DVT or PE and arterial events or whether the events simply reflect the presence of underlying risk factors for both conditions was not determined in this trial. Further, whether DVT and PE patients would benefit from prolonged antiplatelet, anticoagulant, and/or statin therapies are issues that warrant further study.

For a more thorough discussion of this article and the accompanying editorial, you may go to or may review the original publications at:

  1. Sorensen HT, Horvath-Puho E, Pedersen L, et al. Venous thromboembolism and subsequent hospitalization due to acute cardiovascular events: a 20-year cohort study. Lancet 2007; 370:1773-1779.

  2. Lowe GD. Is venous thromboembolism a risk factor for arterial thrombosis? Lancet 2007; 370:1742-1744.
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Key topics discussed on ClotCare include: Blood Clots | Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) | Pulmonary Embolism (PE) | Atrial Fibrillation (A. Fib or AF) | Heart Attack | Stroke | Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) | Mini Stroke | Bleeding Complications | Vascular Surgery | Surgical Blood Clot Removal | Warfarin | Coumadin | Lovenox | Low Molecular Weight Heparin (LMWH) | Heparin | Anticoagulants | Plavix | Aspirin | Antiplatelets | Blood Thinners
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Tuesday, May 28, 2024