Which Cardiovascular Risk Factors Are Linked With Venous Thromboembolism?


Submitted on Fri, 02/01/2019 - 12:26

Several risk factors are linked with venous thromboembolism (VTE), according to a study published in JAMA Cardiology.

The researchers undertook the study to assess the association of major cardiovascular risk factors with VTE (ie, deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism). To further establish whether such an association exists, and to what extent the factors are linked, the researchers used data from several population-based cohort studies spanning decades. These databases included the Emerging Risk Factors Collaboration (ERFC; 731,728 participants) and the UK Biobank (421,537 participants)

The main outcomes for the study were hazard ratios hazard ratios (HRs) per 1-SD higher usual risk factor levels (or presence/absence), incident fatal outcomes in ERFC, and incident fatal/nonfatal outcomes in UK Biobank. The investigators made adjustments for age, sex, smoking status, diabetes, and body mass index (BMI).

Analysis revealed that risk factors for VTE included older age, current smoking, and BMI. There were similar HRs for pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis for the above factors in the UK Biobank; however, adiposity was more strongly linked with pulmonary embolism. There were similar HRs for unprovoked compared with provoked VTE.

“Apart from adiposity, these risk factors were less strongly associated with VTE than CHD. There were inconsistent associations of VTEs with diabetes and blood pressure across ERFC and UK Biobank, and there was limited ability to study lipid and inflammation markers,” the researchers wrote.

The authors concluded that three risk factors—older age, smoking, and adiposity—showed a consistent association with greater risk of VTE.


Gregson J, Kaptoge S, Bolton T, et al. Cardiovascular risk factors associated with venous thromboembolism. JAMA Cardiol. 2019 Feb 1;4(2):163-173. doi: 10.1001/jamacardio.2018.4537.