From the green journal:
Long-term predictors and causes of death are understudied in elderly patients with acute venous thromboembolism.
We prospectively followed up 991 patients aged ≥65 years with acute venous thromboembolism in a multicenter Swiss cohort study. The primary outcome was overall mortality. We explored the association between patient baseline characteristics and mortality, adjusting for other baseline variables and periods of anticoagulation as a time-varying covariate. Causes of death over time were adjudicated by a blinded, independent committee.
The median age was 75 years. During a median follow-up period of 30 months, 206 patients (21%) died. Independent predictors of overall mortality were age (hazard ratio [HR], 1.32; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.05-1.65, per decade), active cancer (HR, 5.80; 95% CI, 4.22-7.97), systolic blood pressure less than 100 mm Hg (HR, 2.77; 95% CI, 1.56-4.92), diabetes mellitus (HR, 1.50; 95% CI, 1.02-2.22), low physical activity level (HR, 1.92; 95% CI, 1.38-2.66), polypharmacy (HR, 1.41; 95% CI, 1.01-1.96), anemia (HR, 1.48; 95% CI, 1.07-2.05), high-sensitivity C-reactive protein greater than 40 mg/L (HR, 1.88; 95% CI, 1.36-2.60), ultra-sensitive troponin greater than 14 pg/mL (HR, 1.54; 95% CI, 1.06-2.25), and D-dimer greater than 3000 ng/mL (HR, 1.45; 95% CI, 1.04-2.01). Cancer (34%), pulmonary embolism (18%), infection (17%), and bleeding (6%) were the most common causes of death.
Elderly patients with acute venous thromboembolism have a substantial long-term mortality, and several factors, including polypharmacy and a low physical activity level, are associated with long-term mortality. Cancer, pulmonary embolism, infections, and bleeding are the most common causes of death in the elderly with venous thromboembolism.