UBC Faculty Research and Publications

The risk of venous thromboembolism in ankylosing spondylitis : a general population-based study Aviña-Zubieta, J. Antonio; Chan, Jonathan; De Vera, Mary; Sayre, E. C.; Choi, Hyon; Esdaile, John


Background: Venous thromboembolism (VTE) including pulmonary embolism (PE) and deep vein thrombosis (DVT) can be life threatening. An increased frequency of VTE has been found in inflammatory conditions. To date, evidence assessing whether this risk is also greater in ankylosing spondylitis (AS) patients is scarce. Methods: Using the provincial British Columbia, Canada healthcare database that encompasses all residents within the province, we conducted matched cohort analyses of incident PE, DVT, and overall VTE amongst incident cases of AS and compared them with individuals randomly selected from the general population without AS. We calculated incidence rates of VTE and multivariable analyses after adjusting for traditional risk factors using Cox models. Results: Among 7,190 incident cases of AS, 35 developed PE and 47 developed DVT. Incidence rates (IR) of PE, DVT, and overall VTE per 1,000 person-years for AS patients were 0.79, 1.06, 1.56 compared with 0.40, 0.50, 0.77 in the control cohort. Corresponding fully adjusted HRs (95% CI) of PE, DVT, and VTE were 1.36 (0.92 to 1.99), 1.62 (1.16 to 2.26), and 1.53 (1.16 to 2.01). The risks of PE, DVT, and VTE were highest in the first year of diagnosis with HR (95% CI) of 2.88 (0.87 to 9.62), 2.20 (0.80 to 6.03), and 2.10 (0.88 to 4.99). Conclusions: These findings demonstrate an increased risk of VTE in the general AS population. This risk appears the most prominent in the first year after diagnosis.

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