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Family History Linked to First Venous Thrombosis

Study suggests that family history may be a more useful predictor than thrombophilia tests

TUESDAY, March 24 (HealthDay News) -- A family history of venous thrombosis is independently associated with an up to quadrupled risk of a first venous thrombosis, according to a study published in the March 23 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Irene D. Bezemer, of Leiden University Medical Center in Leiden, the Netherlands, and colleagues studied 1,605 patients with a first venous thrombosis and 2,159 healthy controls.

The researchers found that a significantly higher number of patients than controls reported having one or more first-degree relatives with a history of venous thrombosis (31.5 percent versus 17.3 percent) and that a positive family history was independently associated with a 2.2-fold increased risk and a 3.9-fold increased risk when more than one family member was affected. Compared to subjects with no known risk factors and a negative family history, they found that those with a genetic and environmental risk factor and a positive family history had a 64-fold higher risk.

"In clinical practice, family history may be more useful for risk assessment than thrombophilia tests," the authors conclude. "A positive family history represents increased susceptibility in addition to the risk caused by known genetic and environmental factors. This additional risk is due to unknown or unmeasured risk factors."

Abstract
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