What is the incidence of deep venous thrombosis (DVT)?

Updated: Jun 05, 2019
  • Author: Kaushal (Kevin) Patel, MD; Chief Editor: Barry E Brenner, MD, PhD, FACEP  more...
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Deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and thromboembolism remain a common cause of morbidity and mortality in bedridden or hospitalized patients, as well as generally healthy individuals. The exact incidence of DVT is unknown because most studies are limited by the inherent inaccuracy of clinical diagnosis. Existing data that probably underestimate the true incidence of DVT suggest that about 80 cases per 100,000 population occur annually. Approximately 1 person in 20 develops a DVT in the course of his or her lifetime. About 600,000 hospitalizations per year occur for DVT in the United States.

In elderly persons, the incidence is increased four-fold. The in-hospital case-fatality rate for venous thromboembolism (VTE) is 12%, rising to 21% in elderly persons. In hospitalized patients, the incidence of venous thrombosis is considerably higher and varies from 20-70%. Venous ulceration and venous insufficiency of the lower leg, which are long-term complications of DVT, affect 0.5% of the entire population. Extrapolation of these data reveals that as many as 5 million people have venous stasis and varying degrees of venous insufficiency.

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