Current smoking and obesity independently associated with venous thromboembolism risk

   Among the well-established cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors, only current smoking and obesity were independently associated with venous thromboembolism (VTE) risk in a large cohort of patients where risk factors were updated serially during follow-up.

   Keattiyoat Wattanakit, MD, MPH, and colleagues at HeartCare Midwest in Peoria, Illinois, and the University of Minnesota at Minneapolis, USA, evaluated associations between CVD risk factors and incident VTE in a cohort of 15,340 patients who had no history of VTE and/or anticoagulant use on enrollment. 

   In the course of a mean followup of 15.5 years (237,375 person-years), 468 participants had VTE events. The researchers, adjusting for demographic variables and body mass index (BMI), found that current smokers were at greater risk (hazard ratio [HR] 1.44; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.12 to 1.86) compared with non-smokers.

   There was a positive association between BMI and VTE risk. Patients with a BMI >35 had a HR for VTE of 3.09 (CI, 2.26 to 4.23) compared with those with normal BMI (<25). Further, greater physical activity was associated with lower VTE risk in a demographic-adjusted model, but the association became nonsignificant following adjustment for BMI. Not associated with VTE risk were alcohol intake, diabetes, hypertension, HDL, LDL, and triglycerides.