Venous thromboembolism: a public health concern.
Venous thromboembolism (VTE), defined as deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, or both, affects an estimated 300,000-600,000 individuals in the U.S. each year, causing considerable morbidity and mortality. It is a disorder that can occur in all races and ethnicities, all age groups, and both genders. With many of the known risk factors-advanced age, immobility, surgery, obesity-increasing in society, VTE is an important and growing public health problem. Recently, a marked increase has occurred in federal and national efforts to raise awareness and acknowledge the need for VTE prevention. Yet, many basic public health functions-surveillance, research, and awareness-are still needed. Learning and understanding more about the burden and causes of VTE, and raising awareness among the public and healthcare providers through a comprehensive public health approach, has enormous potential to prevent and reduce death and morbidity from deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism throughout the U.S.
Beckman, MG; Hooper, WC; Critchley, SE; Ortel, TL
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