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Thromb Res. 2014 Nov;134(5):931-8. doi: 10.1016/j.thromres.2014.08.014. Epub 2014 Oct 10.

Thrombosis: a major contributor to global disease burden.

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College of Public Health, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, 801 NE 13th Street Oklahoma City, OK 73104 United States. Electronic address:
Faculty of Medicine, Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University, Rama VI Rd. Bangkok 10400 Thailand.
División Hemostasia, Academia Nacional de Medicina, Av. Scalabrini Ortiz 2894 Buenos Aires Argentina.
Academic Medical Center, Department of Vascular Medicine, Meibergdreef 9 Amsterdam 1105 Netherlands.
SA Pathology - Department of Hematology, Flinders Medical Center, Flinders Drive, Bedford Park, South Australia, 5042 Australia.
Thrombosis & Thrombophilia Centre, Guy
Boston University School of Medicine, 801 Massachusetts Ave. Boston 02118 United States.
Thrombosis Research Institute, Manresa Road London SW3 6LR England.
Center for Thrombosis and Hemostasis, Johannes Gutenberg University, Langenbeckstr. 1 Mainz, 55131 Germany.
College of Public Health, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, 801 NE 13th Street Oklahoma City, OK 73104 United States.
Department of Laboratory Medicine, University of Yamanashi, 1110 Shimokato, Chuo Yamanashi, 409-3898 Japan.
McMaster University and the Thrombosis and Atherosclerosis Research Institute, 237 Barton Street E Hamilton, Ontario, L8L 2X2 Canada.


Thrombosis is a common pathology underlying ischemic heart disease, ischemic stroke, and venous thromboembolism (VTE). The Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 (GBD 2010) documented that ischemic heart disease and stroke collectively caused one in four deaths worldwide. GBD 2010 did not report data for VTE as a cause of death and disability. We performed a systematic review of the literature on the global disease burden due to VTE in low, middle and high income countries. Studies from Western Europe, North America, Australia, and Southern Latin America (Argentina) yielded consistent results with annual incidences ranging from 0.75 to 2.69 per 1,000 individuals in the population. The incidence increased to between 2 and 7 per 1,000 among those 70 years of age or more. Although the incidence is lower in individuals of Chinese and Korean ethnicity, their disease burden is not low because of population aging. VTE associated with hospitalization was the leading cause of disability-adjusted-life-years (DALYs) lost in low and middle income countries, and second in high income countries, responsible for more DALYs lost than nosocomial pneumonia, catheter-related blood stream infections, and adverse drug events. VTE causes a major burden of disease across low, middle, and high income countries. More detailed data on the global burden of VTE should be obtained to inform policy and resource allocation in health systems, and to evaluate if improved utilization of preventive measures will reduce the burden.

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