Alcohol use disorders are associated with venous thromboembolism.

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Moderate alcohol consumption has been suggested to protect against venous thromboembolism (VTE). However, it is not known how alcohol abuse and its associated somatic complications affect the risk of VTE. The present study determined the risk of pulmonary embolism (PE) and deep vein thrombosis (DVT) of the lower extremities in patients with alcohol use disorders (AUDs) in Sweden. All inpatients with AUDs in 2002-2010 without a previous VTE event (72,024 patients) were matched to five controls without AUD and followed until the end of follow-up (December 31, 2010), death, emigration or a VTE event. Cox regression was used to determine adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) for VTE. AUD patients were further divided into those without alcohol-related somatic complications (AUD-) and those with alcohol-related somatic complications (AUD+, i.e., encephalopathy, epilepsy, polyneuropathy, myopathy, cardiomyopathy, gastritis, liver disease, acute pancreatitis, and chronic pancreatitis). The adjusted HR for VTE was significantly increased for both AUD- (HR 1.70, 95 % CI 1.55-1.87) and AUD+ (HR 1.73, 95 % CI 1.37-2.19) patients. The risk of DVT was increased in both AUD+ and AUD- patients (HR 1.62, 95 % CI 1.45-1.83 and HR 1.99, 95 % CI 1.53-2.59, respectively). However, the risk of PE was only significantly increased in AUD- patients (HR 1.87, 95 % 1.59-1.20) and not in AUD+ patients (HR 1.16, 95 % 0.70-1.91). In conclusion, the present study shows that AUD increases the risk of VTE, even in the absence of alcohol-related somatic complications. Our findings suggest that severe alcohol abuse increases the risk of VTE.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-173
JournalJournal of Thrombosis and Thrombolysis
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication categoryResearch