Open Access Review

Comparison of incidence/risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) among selected clinical and hereditary risk markers: A community-based cohort study

Michael Spannagl1, Lothar AJ Heinemann2*, Thai DoMinh2, Anita Assmann2, Wolfgang Schramm1 and Rolf Schürmann3

Author Affiliations

1 Ludwig-Maximillian-University Munich, Klinikum der Universität, Abteilung Haemostasiologe, Ziemssenstr.1, 80336 Muenchen, Germany

2 Centre for Epidemiology & Health Research Berlin, Invalidenstr.115, 10115 Berlin, Germany

3 Schering AG, SBU Fertility Control/Hormone Therapy, 13342 Berlin, Germany

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Thrombosis Journal 2005, 3:8  doi:10.1186/1477-9560-3-8

Published: 20 July 2005



Little information is available from community-based long-term VTE cohort studies to compare the absolute thrombosis risk of established clinical and genetic risk factors.

Materials and methods

The occurrence of venous thromboembolism (VTE) was observed during a 10-year observation period in the BAvarian ThromboEmbolic Risk (BATER) study, a cohort study of 4337 women (age 18–55 years). We collected data on demographics, reproductive life, lifestyle, conditions/diseases, and particularly potential risk factors for VTE with a self-administered questionnaire. The objective was to present incidence rates of VTE and to show relative risk estimated associated with different clinical and genetic risk factors.


34 new, by diagnostic means confirmed VTE events occurred during the observation time of 32,656 women-years (WY). The overall incidence of VTE was 10.4 per 104 WY. The incidence rates varied markedly among different risk cohorts. The highest incidence was observed in women with previous history of VTE, followed by family history of VTE. None of the measured "genetically-related risk markers" (antithrombin, protein C, FVL, prothrombin mutation, or MTHFR) showed a significant VTE risk.


Most of the discussed VTE risk factors showed no significant association with the occurrence of new VTEs due to smallness of numbers. Only first-degree family history of VTE and own history of a previous VTE event depicted a significant association with future VTE. Clinical information seems to be more important to determine future VTE risk than genetically related laboratory tests.

Cohort study; incidence; relative risk; inherited and acquired risk factors; venous thromboembolism.