Economic burden of venous thromboembolism in cancer patients

By Ina I. Høiland, PhD student at TREC

Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a common complication in cancer patients, and cancer patients are at increased risk for recurrent venous thromboembolism. Despite the well-established association between cancer and venous thromboembolism, there are few studies about the economic burden of venous thromboembolism in cancer patients. To asses, this a group at the Department of Health Sciences Research, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, USA recently conducted a population-based cohort study to estimate the medical costs associated with cancer associated VTE.

The study included 374 cancer patients with VTE and 374 cancer patients without VTE. These two groups were used to compare the medical costs over a 5-year period in cancer patients with and without VTE.

The cancer patients with VTE had almost 2-fold higher medical costs than the cancer patients without VTE. The cost differences were greatest the first 3 months after the VTE, and remained significantly higher during the remaining 5-year period. The authors conclude that venous thromboembolism contributes a substantial economic burden to patients with active cancer. Their findings will provide useful information for modelling and assessing the cost-effectiveness of different preventive actions against cancer-related VTE in the future.


Cohoon KP, Ransom JE, Leibson CL, Ashrani AA, Petterson TM, Long KH, Bailey KR, Heit JA, Direct Medical Costs Attributable to Cancer-Associated Venous Thromboembolism: A Population-based Longitudinal Study, The American Journal of Medicine (2016), doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2016.02.030.

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