Study Finds Venous Thromboembolism Increases Risk of Permanent Work-Related Disability

A study published in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that unprovoked venous thromboembolism (VTE) was associated with a 52 percent increased risk of work-related disability (hazard ratio = 1.52; 95% CI 1.09-2.14). In addition, patients with deep vein thrombosis (DVT) had an 80 percent higher risk of work-related disability than those who did not.

This study, by Sigrid K. Braekkan, of the Center for Atherothrombotic Research in Tromsø, Norway, and colleagues, included 66,005 patients (age range = 20-65 years) who participated in two previous Norwegian studies – the Tromsø Study and the Nord-Trøndelag Health Study – between 1994 and 2008. These two studies examined each participant’s risk of a first-time VTE.

Using data from physical examinations, blood samples, and questionnaires completed by the patients, Dr. Braekkan and authors analyzed patients who previously developed a first-time VTE (including DVT, pulmonary embolism, or both) and subsequently received a disability pension due to work-related disability.

During follow-up, 384 patients had a first VTE and 9,862 were granted disability pensions, resulting in an incidence rate of work-related disability after VTE of 37.5 per 1,000 person-years (95% CI 29.7-47.3) compared with 13.5 per 1,000 person-years (95% CI 13.2-13.7) among those without VTE.

“[These] findings suggest that indirect costs because of loss of work time may add to the economic burden of VTE,” the authors, concluded.

Sources: Braekkan SK, Grosse SD, Okoroh EM, et al. Venous thromboembolism and subsequent permanent work-related disability. Journal Thromb and Haemost. 2016 Jul 13. [Epub ahead of print]; The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, August 16, 2016.

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