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Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 1999 Apr;19(4):1026-33.

Risk of venous thromboembolism and clinical manifestations in carriers of antithrombin, protein C, protein S deficiency, or activated protein C resistance: a multicenter collaborative family study.

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  • 1Angelo Bianchi Bonomi Hemophilia and Thrombosis Center, IRCCS Maggiore Hospital and University of Milan, Italy.


Deficiencies of antithrombin (AT), protein C (PC) or protein S (PS), and activated protein C resistance (APCR) are very well-established coagulation defects predisposing to venous thromboembolism (VTE). We performed a retrospective cohort family study to assess the risk for VTE in individuals with AT, PC, or PS deficiency, or APCR. Five hundred thirteen relatives from 9 Italian centers were selected from 233 families in which the proband had had at least 1 episode of VTE. We calculated the incidence of VTE in the whole cohort and in the subgroups after stratification by age, sex, and defect. The overall incidence of VTE (per 100 patient-years) in the group of relatives was 0.52. It was 1.07 for AT, 0.54 for PC, 0.50 for PS, 0.30 for APCR, and 0.67 in the group with a double defect. The incidence was associated with age, but not with sex. The mean age at onset was between 30 and 40 years for all the coagulation defects. Women had the peak of incidence in the age range of 21 to 40 years, earlier than men. The lifetime risk for VTE was 4.4 for AT versus APCR, 2.6 for AT versus PS, 2.2 for AT versus PC, 1.9 for PC versus APCR, and 1.6 for PS versus APCR. AT deficiency seems to have a higher risk for VTE than the other genetic defects. There is a relation between age and occurrence of thrombosis for both men and women. The latter had the peak of incidence earlier than the former.

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