Venous thromboembolism in patients with diabetes mellitus

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine; Department of Quantitative Health Sciences; Meyers Primary Care Institute

Publication Date


Document Type



Adult; Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Comorbidity; Diabetes Complications; Female; Humans; Male; Massachusetts; Middle Aged; Risk Factors; Venous Thromboembolism


Cardiovascular Diseases | Endocrine System Diseases | Epidemiology | Health Services Research | Nutritional and Metabolic Diseases


PURPOSE: The majority of epidemiological studies demonstrate an increased risk of venous thromboembolism among diabetic patients. Our aim was to compare clinical characteristics, prophylaxis, treatment, and outcomes of venous thromboembolism in patients with and without previously diagnosed diabetes.

METHODS: We studied diabetic patients in the population-based Worcester Venous Thromboembolism Study of 2488 consecutive patients with validated venous thromboembolism.

RESULTS: Of 2488 venous thromboembolism patients, 476 (19.1%) had a clinical history of diabetes. Thromboprophylaxis was omitted in more than one third of diabetic patients who had been hospitalized for non-venous-thromboembolism-related illness or had undergone major surgery within 3 months before diagnosis. Patients with diabetes were more likely than nondiabetic patients to have a complicated course after venous thromboembolism. Patients with diabetes were more likely than patients without diabetes to suffer recurrent deep vein thrombosis (14.9% vs 10.7%) and long-term major bleeding complications (16.4% vs 11.7%) (all P=.01). Diabetes was associated with a significant increase in the risk of recurrent deep vein thrombosis (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 1.74; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.21-2.51). Aspirin therapy at discharge (AOR 1.59; 95% CI, 1.1-2.3) and chronic kidney disease (AOR 2.19; 95% CI, 1.44-3.35) were independent predictors of long-term major bleeding.

CONCLUSION: Patients with diabetes who developed venous thromboembolism were more likely to suffer a complicated clinical course. Diabetes was an independent predictor of recurrent deep vein thrombosis. We observed a low rate of thromboprophylaxis in diabetic patients. Further studies should focus on venous thromboembolism prevention in this vulnerable population.

DOI of Published Version



Am J Med. 2012 Jul;125(7):709-16. Epub 2012 May 3. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

The American journal of medicine

PubMed ID


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Link to Article in PubMed