Age, an independent risk factor for thrombosis

Author(s): MahéI, Caulin C, Bergmann JF

Abstract

The incidence of thrombosis--arterial and venous--increases with age. This is the case for atheromatous diseases, atrial fibrillation and even venous thromboembolic disease. Ischemic heart disease is the most common cause of death in the elderly. Atrial fibrillation, an independent risk factor for cerebral vascular accidents, affects around 10% of persons older than 80 years. The incidence of venous thromboembolic disease increases with age, reaching 12.5 per 1000 people older than 75 years, compared with 5 per 1000 aged 60-75 and 2.5 per 1000 aged 40-59. Elderly persons often have two or more cardiovascular or venous thromboembolic risk factors and thus a still higher risk of thrombotic events. Their risk of thrombosis justifies the systematic search for acquired risk factors to assess the level of risk and take appropriate prevention measures.

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