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Thromb Res. 2013 Jan;131(1):17-23. doi: 10.1016/j.thromres.2012.10.008. Epub 2012 Nov 8.

Real-world economic burden of venous thromboembolism and antithrombotic prophylaxis in medical inpatients.

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Research Department, FADOI Foundation, Milan, Italy.



Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in medical patients, and the economic burden of this disease is plausibly relevant as well. However, few data from real-world observations are available on this topic. Aim of our study was to assess the costs of VTE management and antithrombotic prophylaxis in patients hospitalized in Internal Medicine (IM) departments.


The in-hospital paths of 160 patients with VTE (VTE group) and 160 patients receiving prophylaxis and without VTE (NO-VTE group) were retrospectively evaluated within 26IM units in Italy. The economic analysis was undertaken by applying a process analysis, the initial phase of the more comprehensive Activity Based Costing technique. Accordingly to this approach, only information closely linked to VTE or its prevention was registered.


The total median costs for VTE management were around four-times higher than those for prophylaxis (€ 1,348.68 vs € 373.03). Human resources were the most important cost-driver (55.5% and 65.7% in the VTE and NO-VTE groups), followed by instrumental (24.6% in VTE and 15.5% in NO-VTE) and haematologic tests (12.6% in VTE patients and 13.3% in controls). In the NO-VTE group the direct costs for prophylaxis accounted for 4.5% of total.


The real-world data of this study confirm the economic burden of in-hospital treatment of VTE, and the relatively low costs of thromboprophylaxis. A greater adherence to evidence-based protocols for VTE prevention could probably reduce the current financial burden of VTE on healthcare systems.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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