Venous Thromboembolism in Hip Fracture Patients: A Subanalysis of the FAITH and HEALTH Trials
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BACKGROUND: The primary objective of this study was to determine the incidence of symptomatic venous thromboembolism (VTE), including pulmonary embolism (PE) and deep vein thrombosis (DVT), in the hip fracture population. Secondary objectives included determining timing of VTE diagnosis, VTE thromboprophylaxis given, and identifying any factors associated with VTE. METHODS: Using data from the FAITH and HEALTH trials, the incidence of VTE, including DVT and PE, and the timing of VTE were determined. A multivariable Cox regression analysis was used to determine which factors were associated with increased risk of VTE, including age, treatment for comorbidity, thromboprophylaxis, time to surgery, and method of fracture management. RESULTS: 2520 hip fracture patients were included in the analysis. Sixty-four patients (2.5%) had a VTE [DVT: 36 (1.4%), PE: 28 (1.1%)]. Thirty-five (54.7%) were diagnosed less than 6 weeks postfracture and 29 (45.3%) more than 6 weeks postfracture. One thousand nine hundred ninety-three (79%) patients received thromboprophylaxis preoperatively and 2502 (99%) received thromboprophylaxis postoperatively. The most common method of preoperative (46%) and postoperative (73%) thromboprophylaxis was low molecular weight heparin. Treatment with arthroplasty compared to internal fixation was the only variable associated with increased risk of VTE (hazard ratio 2.67, P = 0.02). CONCLUSIONS: The incidence of symptomatic VTE in hip fracture patients recruited to the 2 trials was 2.5%. Although over half of the cases were diagnosed within 6 weeks of fracture, VTE is still prevalent after this period. The majority of patients received thromboprophylaxis. Treatment with arthroplasty rather than fixation was associated with increased incidence of VTE. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic Level II. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
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