Comparative Study
Journal Article
Multicenter Study
Randomized Controlled Trial
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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Risk factor model to predict venous thromboembolism in hospitalized medical patients.

BACKGROUND: The Joint Commission requires that all medical inpatients be assessed for venous thromboembolism (VTE) risk, but available risk stratification tools have never been validated.

METHODS: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of patients age ≥18 years, admitted to 374 US hospitals in 2004-2005, with a primary diagnosis of pneumonia, heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), stroke, and urinary tract infection, and length of stay ≥3 days. Subjects were randomly assigned (80/20) to a derivation or validation set. We then assessed VTE (International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision [ICD-9] code plus diagnostic test plus treatment), patient demographics, 21 potential risk factors, and other comorbidities. We created a VTE risk stratification tool using multivariable regression modeling and applied it to the validation sample.

RESULTS: Of 242,738 patients, 612 (0.25%) patients fulfilled our criteria for VTE during hospitalization, and an additional 440 (0.18%) were readmitted for VTE within 30 days (overall incidence of 0.43%). In the multivariable model, age, sex, and 10 additional risk factors were associated with VTE. The strongest risk factors were inherited thrombophilia (OR 4.00), length of stay ≥6 days (OR 3.22), inflammatory bowel disease (OR 3.11), central venous catheter (OR 1.87), and cancer. In the validation set, the model had a c-statistic of 0.75 (95% CI 0.71, 0.78). Deciles of predicted risk ranged from 0.11% to 1.46% with observed risk over the same deciles from 0.17% to 1.81%.

CONCLUSIONS: The risk of symptomatic VTE in general medical patients is low. A risk factor model can identify those at sufficient risk to warrant pharmacologic prophylaxis.

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