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Study Quantifies Risk of Venous Thromboembolism During Flares and Remission of Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Posted by Henry I. Bussey, Pharm.D., FCCP, FAHA
March, 2010

Reference: Grainge MJ, West J, Card TR. Venous thromboembolism during active disease and remission in inflammatory bowel disease: a cohort study. The Lancet, early online publication February 9, 2010 doi: 10.1016/SO140-6736(09)61963-2.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a well-recognized risk factor for venous thromboembolism (VTE), but investigators from the United Kingdom have generated data recently to help quantify the impact of this risk. Specifically, in a cohort study of 13,756 patients with IBD and 71,672 matched controls, the investigators found that the risk of VTE was 3.4 fold higher in those with IBD, with an absolute risk of 2.6 events per 1,000 patient years. At the time of a flare (identified by a new prescription for glucocorticoid therapy), the risk increased to 8.4 fold increase for an absolute risk of 9.0 events per 1,000 patient years. For patients with this condition - and especially during a flare - it would seem wise to consider whether pharmacologic or mechanical VTE prophylaxis may be warranted (presuming that the individual is not already receiving anticoagulation for a previous event).

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