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Arch Intern Med. 2005 Aug 8-22;165(15):1782-7.

Incidence of venous thromboembolism in the year before the diagnosis of cancer in 528,693 adults.

Author information

1
Departments of Internal Medicine, Medicine, Medicine and Statistics, and Public Health Sciences, University of California Davis, Sacramento, CA 95817, USA. rhwhite@ucdavis.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

It is unclear how frequently unprovoked venous thromboembolism (VTE) reflects the presence of an occult cancer.

METHODS:

The California Cancer Registry was used to identify diagnosed cases of 19 common malignancies during a 6-year period. Cases were linked to a hospital discharge database to identify incident VTE events in the year before the cancer diagnosis date. The standardized incidence ratio (SIR) of unprovoked VTE was determined by using the age-, race-, and sex-specific incidence rates in California.

RESULTS:

Among 528,693 cancer cases, 596 (0.11%) were associated with a diagnosis of unprovoked VTE within 1 year of the cancer diagnosis, compared with 443.0 expected cases (SIR, 1.3; 95% confidence interval, 1.2-1.5; P<.001). Among cases with metastatic-stage cancer, the SIR was 2.3 (95% confidence interval, 2.0-2.6; P<.001), whereas for all other stages, the SIR was 1.07 (95% confidence interval, 0.97-1.18; P = .09). The incidence of preceding VTE was increased over that expected only during the 4-month period immediately preceding the cancer diagnosis date (P<.001). Only 7 cancer types were associated with a significantly elevated SIR: acute myelogenous leukemia; non-Hodgkin lymphoma; and renal cell, ovarian, pancreatic, stomach, and lung cancer (SIR range, 1.8-4.2).

CONCLUSIONS:

In the year preceding the diagnosis of cancer, the number of cases with unprovoked VTE was modestly higher than expected, and almost all of the unexpected VTE cases were associated with a diagnosis of metastatic-stage cancer within 4 months. Given the timing and advanced stage of the unexpected cases, it is unlikely that earlier diagnosis of these cancers would have significantly improved long-term survival.

PMID:
16087828
DOI:
10.1001/archinte.165.15.1782
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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