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Am J Med. 2013 Sep;126(9):832.e13-21. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2013.02.024. Epub 2013 Jul 3.

Incidence of and mortality from venous thromboembolism in a real-world population: the Q-VTE Study Cohort.

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Centre for Clinical Epidemiology, Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, Jewish General Hospital, Montréal, Québec, Canada.



The public health burden of venous thromboembolism, which includes deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, is not fully known, and contemporary incidence and mortality estimates are needed. We determined the incidence and case fatality of venous thromboembolism in a general population.


Using the administrative health care databases of the Canadian province of Québec, we identified all incident cases of deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism between 2000 and 2009 and classified them as definite or probable venous thromboembolism. We formed 2 patient cohorts, one with definite cases and the other including cases with definite or probable venous thromboembolism that were followed until December 31, 2009.


We identified 67,354 definite and 35,123 probable cases of venous thromboembolism. The age- and sex-adjusted incidence rates of definite or probable venous thromboembolism, deep vein thrombosis, and pulmonary embolism were 1.22 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.22-1.23), 0.78 (95% CI, 0.77-0.79), and 0.45 (95% CI, 0.44-0.45) per 1000 person-years, respectively, while for definite venous thromboembolism it was 0.90 (95% CI, 0.89-0.90) per 1000 person-years. The 30-day and 1-year case-fatality rates after definite or probable venous thromboembolism were 10.6% (95% CI, 10.4-10.8) and 23.0% (95% CI, 22.8-23.3), respectively, and were slightly higher among definite cases. The 1-year survival rate was 0.47 (95% CI, 0.46-0.48) for cases with definite or probable venous thromboembolism and cancer, 0.93 (95% CI, 0.93-0.94) for cases with unprovoked venous thromboembolism, and 0.84 (95% CI, 0.83-0.84) for cases with venous thromboembolism secondary to a major risk factor. Similar survival rates were seen for cases with definite venous thromboembolism.


The risk of venous thromboembolism in the general population remains high, and mortality, especially in cancer patients with venous thromboembolism, is substantial.


Case-fatality; Deep vein thrombosis; Incidence; Mortality; Pulmonary embolism; Venous thromboembolism

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