Semin Thromb Hemost 2014; 40(07): 724-735
DOI: 10.1055/s-0034-1390325
In Focus Article
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Thrombosis: A Major Contributor to Global Disease Burden[*]

Gary E. Raskob1, Pantep Angchaisuksiri2, Alicia N. Blanco3, Harry Büller4, Alexander Gallus5, Beverley J. Hunt6, Elaine M. Hylek7, The Lord Kakkar8, Stavros V. Konstantinides9, Micah McCumber1, Yukio Ozaki10, Aaron Wendelboe1, Jeffrey I. Weitz11, ; ISTH Steering Committee for World Thrombosis Day
  • 1College of Public Health, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • 2Faculty of Medicine, Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand
  • 3Division of Hemostasia, Academia Nacional de Medicina, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • 4Department of Vascular Medicine, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • 5Department of Hematology, SA Pathology, Flinders Medical Center, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
  • 6Thrombosis and Thrombophilia Centre, Guy's and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust, London, United Kingdom
  • 7Section of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 8Thrombosis Research Institute, London, United Kingdom
  • 9Center for Thrombosis and Hemostasis, University Medical Center, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany
  • 10Department of Laboratory Medicine, University of Yamanashi, Yamanashi, Japan
  • 11Thrombosis and Atherosclerosis Research Institute, and McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
10 October 2014 (eFirst)


Thrombosis is a common pathology underlying ischemic heart disease, ischemic stroke, and venous thromboembolism (VTE). The Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 (GBD 2010) documented that ischemic heart disease and stroke collectively caused one in four deaths worldwide. GBD 2010 did not report data for VTE as a cause of death and disability. We performed a systematic review of the literature on the global disease burden due to VTE in low-, middle-, and high-income countries. Studies from Western Europe, North America, Australia, and Southern Latin America (Argentina) yielded consistent results with annual incidences ranging from 0.75 to 2.69 per 1,000 individuals in the population. The incidence increased to between 2 and 7 per 1,000 among those 70 years of age or more. Although the incidence is lower in individuals of Chinese and Korean ethnicity, their disease burden is not low because of population aging. VTE associated with hospitalization was the leading cause of disability-adjusted-life-years (DALYs) lost in low- and middle-income countries, and second in high-income countries, responsible for more DALYs lost than nosocomial pneumonia, catheter-related blood stream infections, and adverse drug events. VTE causes a major burden of disease across low-, middle-, and high-income countries. More detailed data on the global burden of VTE should be obtained to inform policy and resource allocation in health systems, and to evaluate if improved utilization of preventive measures will reduce the burden.

* Reprinted with permission from: ISTH Steering Committee for World Thrombosis Day. Thrombosis: a major contributor to global disease burden. J Thromb Haemost 2014;12:1580–1590; DOI: 10.1111/jth.12698. ©2014 International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis.