Scientists know that infections increase the risk of arterial cardiovascular events such as strokes and heart attacks, but the effect of infections on DVT is not established.
To investigate, Liam Smeeth and colleagues reviewed over 3 million general practice records in the UK. They identified nearly 7300 patients who had a DVT. Both respiratory and urinary tract infections increased the risk of DVT, especially in the first two weeks after infection. The fact that the risk was raised by two different types of infection suggests that the risk of DVT may be due to the infectious process itself rather than a specific type of infection, state the authors.
Dr Smeeth conlcudes: "Acute infections are associated with a transient increased risk of venous thromboembolic events in a community setting. Our results confirm that infection should be added to the list of precipitants of venous thromboembolism, and suggest a causal relation."
Contact: Dr Liam Smeeth, Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, London WC1E 7HT, UK. T) 020 7927 2296 Liam.Smeeth@lshtm.ac.uk
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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