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Embolism patients at risk of second clot within three years

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Patients who develop deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism are at risk of experiencing another clot within three years, a study has shown.
The Canadian study, conducted over three years, gathered data from 1691 patients presented with venous thromboembolism (VTE), of whom 549 also had pulmonary embolisms (PE).

Those with PE were more than three times more likely to die in the 30 days after treatment and 1.4 times more likely to die over a three year period.

Among the 549 patients with PE, 31 (5.7%) had a recurrent clot in the long, 75 (13.7%) had a recurrence of either type of VTE and 14.9% had a major bleeding episode.

In the VTE only group, 5.6% developed pulmonary embolism, 19% had recurrent VTE and 12.8% had a major bleeding episode.

Authors wrote: ‘Efforts are needed to identify patients most at risk for venous thrombosis-associated complications and to develop better anticoagulation strategies conducive to long-term use in the community setting.’

Archives of Internal Medicine (2008) 168: 425-430

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