Venous thromboembolism (VTE), which includes deep vein thrombosis (DVT; clots in the leg veins) and pulmonary embolism (PE: clot that travels to the heart and lung circulation), is a major cardiovascular disease that affects adults of all ages and ethnicities, yet has received far less attention than heart attack and stroke. Diagnosed in 1-2 per 1000 persons per year, VTE is the 3rd most common cardiovascular disorder after acute coronary syndrome and stroke. PE, the most serious form of VTE, is the 3rd leading cause of cardiovascular death overall and sudden death in hospitalized patients. Acutely, 10% of patients with PE die rapidly prior to diagnosis, emphasizing the importance of preventing VTE. Moreover, PE has remained one of the most commonly missed diagnoses in clinical medicine as signs and symptoms can sometimes be relatively mild or wrongly attributed (both by patients and by doctors) to other pulmonary diseases. In addition to this acute disease burden, VTE also imposes life-long burden to many patients because of its frequent chronic sequelae, including recurrent episodes of VTE (average recurrence rate off anticoagulants is 5-20% per year), the post-thrombotic syndrome (PTS) (occurs in 20-40% of DVT patients) and chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (occurs in 3-4% of PE patients).

Indirect costs

As the risk of VTE increases steeply with age, our population’s aging demographic portends a rising incidence of VTE. Not surprisingly, the health care burden of VTE is substantial: the cost to treat an individual case of acute VTE is more than 4.000 euros, and the estimated and the estimated total cost of VTE and its complications in the Netherlands is at least 100 million euros per year. Important indirect costs such as loss of productivity that affects patients, families, and society at large are also considerable.

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Dutch Thrombosis Network

Dutch Thrombosis Network (DTN) is an independent, not-for-profit network of academic and nonacademic clinical and basic researchers in thrombosis. 

DTN exists to promote national collaboration between academic and nonacademic researchers that conduct venous thromboembolism (VTE) related clinical research, and to enhance the profile, science, and impact of investigator-led VTE clinical research. More »