ASH: Most Cancer-Related Clots Occur in Outpatients

Of the venous thromboembolism cases in patients with cancer, 78.3 percent occur in outpatients

TUESDAY, Dec. 13 (HealthDay News) -- More than two thirds of the venous thromboembolism (VTE) complications in cancer patients occur in those undergoing outpatient cancer treatment, according to a study being presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology, held from Dec. 10 to 13 in San Diego.

Alok Khorana, M.D., from the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York, and colleagues investigated the incidence of VTE in 17,784 cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. In this retrospective observational study, inpatient and outpatient data were collected from 2005 to 2009 from health care claims databases.

The investigators found that VTE developed in 5.6 percent of the patients. Of the patients who suffered from VTE, the majority (78.3 percent) were being treated on an outpatient basis, and 21 percent had recently been hospitalized. For patients with VTE, the cost of care was twice as high as for patients without VTE.

"The Surgeon General recently issued a Call to Action to reduce VTE. At this point, public health efforts have focused on inpatient prophylaxis. These new data suggest that to reduce the burden of VTE in cancer patients, prevention efforts will have to shift to the outpatient arena as well," Khorana said in a statement.

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