Recurrent Thrombosis and Survival After a First Venous Thrombosis of the Upper Extremity

L.E. Flinterman, A. van Hylckama Vlieg, F.R. Rosendaal, C.J.M. Doggen

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30 Citations (Scopus)


Background — Little is known about the consequences of a first venous thrombosis in the upper extremity. We studied the incidence of, survival, and risk factors for recurrence in a follow-up study.

Methods and Results — We followed up 224 patients 18 to 70 years of age after a first venous thrombosis of the arm. Information was collected through anticoagulation clinics, the national death registry, discharge letters, and questionnaires. The median follow-up was 3 years, during which time 30 patients experienced a recurrent event, yielding an incidence rate of 43.2 per 1000 person-years. Survival was reduced: 55 of 224 patients died, which was 5.4-fold higher than age- and sex-adjusted population rates (standardized mortality ratio, 5.4; 95% CI, 4.2 to 7.0). The risk of recurrence was 2-fold higher in women than in men (hazard ratio, 1.8; 95% CI, 0.9 to 3.9). A central venous catheter at the time of first thrombosis was associated with a reduced risk of recurrence. A body mass index 25 kg/m2 and a first nonsubclavian thrombosis appeared to increase the risk of a recurrent event. Prothrombotic mutation carriers did not appear to have an increased recurrence risk.

Conclusions — The risk of recurrence was high, with women, patients with body mass index 25 kg/m2, and patients with a first nonsubclavian vein thrombosis having a higher risk of recurrence. Patients with a first venous thrombosis of the arm have a poor vital prognosis
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1366-1372
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Risk factors
  • Thrombosis
  • Veins


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