Role of family history of venous thromboembolism and thrombophilia as predictors of recurrence: a prospective follow-up study

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Abstract

Background:

Several studies have shown that the family history of venous thromboembolism (FHVTE) is a predictor of first venous thromboembolism (VTE). However its role in recurrent VTE is still controversial.

Objectives:

To investigate whether the presence of FHVTE is a risk factor for VTE recurrence in patients from a well-characterized Malmö thrombophilia study.

Methods:

VTE patients from the Malmö Thrombophilia Study were followed from discontinuation of warfarin treatment until diagnosis of VTE recurrence or to the end of the study (maximum follow-up 9.8 years).

Results:

There were 127 events of VTE recurrence (12.2%) registered during the follow-up. Multivariate Cox regression analysis in patients with unprovoked first VTE showed that FHVTE was associated with higher risk of VTE recurrence (hazard ratio [HR] 1.9, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.2–2.9) compared with patients with no FHVTE. Stratification of data according to thrombophilia status of patients showed that compared with the reference group (no FHVTE or thrombophilia), thrombophilia together with FHVTE was associated with a higher risk of VTE recurrence (HR 3.2, 95% CI 1.8–5.9) than thrombophilia alone (HR 1.8, 95% CI 1.02–3.2) independent of DVT location and duration of warfarin treatment. FHVTE was mainly an important risk factor of VTE recurrence in women (HR 3.1, 95% CI 1.6–5.8) but not in men (HR 1.1, 95% CI 0.6–2.2).

Conclusion:

Our results show that FHVTE is a risk factor for VTE recurrence in patients who had unprovoked first VTE. Furthermore, presence of FHVTE may be an additional risk factor of VTE recurrence in thrombophilia-positive patients.

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