Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is categorized by the U.S. Surgeon General as a major public health problem. VTE is relatively common and associated with reduced survival and substantial health-care costs, and recurs frequently. VTE is a complex (multifactorial) disease, involving interactions between acquired or inherited predispositions to thrombosis and VTE risk factors, including increasing patient age and obesity, hospitalization for surgery or acute illness, nursing-home confinement, active cancer, trauma or fracture, immobility or leg paresis, superficial vein thrombosis, and, in women, pregnancy and puerperium, oral contraception, and hormone therapy. Although independent VTE risk factors and predictors of VTE recurrence have been identified, and effective primary and secondary prophylaxis is available, the occurrence of VTE seems to be relatively constant, or even increasing.
KEYWORDS: Deep vein thrombosis; Epidemiology; Pulmonary embolism; Thrombophlebitis; Venous thromboembolism
The reliable exclusion of a pulmonary embolism (PE) in hemodynamically stable patients remains a challenge. The European Society of Cardiology guidelines for PE diagnosis published in 2008 and updated in 2014 recommend a low-threshold computed tomography (CT) indication for patients with a high probability of pulmonary embolism or those with elevated levels of D-dimers. Certain elements of the recommendations are controversial, while others, including the evaluation of the risk factors for PE, are considered only in individual cases. In the present study, various risk factors, including obesity, smoking, contraceptive use, immobility level, history of malignant disease and thrombophilia and the factors of familial predisposition, deep vein thrombosis (DVT)/PE-history, long-distance flying <1 week and surgery <4 weeks previously, were retrospectively examined in 492 patients with a suspected PE. The data demonstrated a significant risk of PE with contraceptive use, a history of DVT/PE and thrombophilia. The immobility level, surgery <4 weeks and long-distance flying <1 week previously, as well as family history, malignant disease,obesity and smoking, were not observed to be associated with a significantly higher risk of PE. Contraceptive use and thrombophilia, in addition to a history of DVT/PE, each appear to have a significant predictive value in the context of PE risk stratification. Therefore, patients with a suspected PE, who additionally present with at least one of the aforementioned risk factors, should undergo further diagnostic steps for PE risk stratification, including a low-threshold CT examination, even in the absence of elevated D-dimers.
BACKGROUND: Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is the second most common medical complication and a cause of excess length of hospital stay. Its incidence and economic burden are expected to increase as the population ages. We reviewed the recent literature to provide updated cost estimates on VTE management. METHODS: Literature search strategies were performed in PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Collaboration, Health Economic Evaluations Database, EconLit, and International Pharmaceutical Abstracts from 2003-2014. Additional studies were identified through searching bibliographies of related publications. RESULTS: Eighteen studies were identified and are summarized in this review; of these, 13 reported data from the USA, four from Europe, and one from Canada. Three main cost estimations were identified: cost per VTE hospitalization or per VTE readmission; cost for VTE management, usually reported annually or during a specific period; and annual all-cause costs in patients with VTE, which included the treatment of complications and comorbidities. Cost estimates per VTE hospitalization were generally similar across the US studies, with a trend toward an increase over time. Cost per pulmonary embolism hospitalization increased from $5,198-$6,928 in 2000 to $8,764 in 2010. Readmission for recurrent VTE was generally more costly than the initial index event admission. Annual health plan payments for services related to VTE also increased from $10,804-$16,644 during the 1998-2004 period to an estimated average of $15,123 for a VTE event from 2008 to 2011. Lower costs for VTE hospitalizations and annualized all-cause costs were estimated in European countries and Canada. CONCLUSION: Costs for VTE treatment are considerable and increasing faster than general inflation for medical care services, with hospitalization costs being the primary cost driver. Readmissions for VTE are generally more costly than the initial VTE admission. Further studies evaluating the economic impact of new treatment options such as the non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants on VTE treatment are warranted.
KEYWORDS: costs; deep vein thrombosis; pharmacoeconomics; pulmonary embolism; resource utilization