New paper explores the global health burden of thrombosis with focus on venous thromboembolism

April 24, 2024

A newly published paper in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology delves into the critical importance of addressing thrombosis as a continued significant global health challenge, particularly underscored by its prominence during the pandemic. The paper is authored by experts Aaron Wendelboe, Ph.D., World Thrombosis Day Steering Committee Member, and Jeffrey I. Weitz, M.D.

While mortality rates from conditions like heart attacks and strokes are on a decline, the prevalence of venous thromboembolism (VTE), a condition where blood clots form in the veins, typically occurring in the deep veins of the legs (known as deep vein thrombosis, or DVT) or traveling to the lungs (known as pulmonary embolism, or PE), remains a pressing concern within the global healthcare landscape.

In light of this, awareness initiatives like World Thrombosis Day, led by the International Society of Thrombosis and Haemostasis, and other robust public health surveillance play a pivotal role in disseminating education globally to inform action among patients, healthcare providers and public health practitioners.

The paper further emphasizes the necessity of enhancing understanding regarding VTE risk factors, employing effective risk assessment models for identifying individuals requiring thromboprophylaxis and ensuring the timely administration of appropriate thromboprophylaxis during and after hospitalization.

It notes that mortality from VTE remained stable over recent decades, however this trend reversed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with an increase over the past five years in age-standardized mortality rates from heart attack, stroke and VTE. The paper authors share that the reversal is most likely the result from vascular inflammation, microvascular thrombosis and myocarditis associated with COVID-19 infection combined with reduced access to medical care early in the pandemic.

Furthermore, the availability of safer anticoagulants presents a promising avenue for mitigating the burden of VTE. Ongoing trials investigating factor XI inhibitors hold potential in addressing this unmet need, and their outcomes will provide valuable insights into their efficacy and applicability.

This publication signifies a significant step forward in advancing the collective understanding of thrombosis and VTE management, ultimately paving the way for improved healthcare outcomes worldwide. For further details, view the full paper here.

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