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The association of statin use with reduced incidence of venous thromboembolism: a population-based cohort study
  1. Riitta Lassila1,
  2. Antti Jula2,
  3. Janne Pitkäniemi3,
  4. Jari Haukka3
  1. 1University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Central Hospital; Cancer Center, HUSLAB and Clinical Chemistry, Helsinki, Finland
  2. 2The National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), Helsinki, Finland
  3. 3Hjelt Institute, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jari Haukka; jari.haukka{at}


Objectives Venous thromboembolism (VTE) continues to be a frequent medical emergency requiring rapid recognition so as to reach diagnosis and initiate anticoagulation therapy. The use of statins in addition to reducing the incidence of arterial thrombosis for decreasing the incidence and reoccurrence of VTE is reported. The aim of our study was to explore the association between statin usage and the incidence of new VTE at the population level during a 10-year follow-up.

Design Population-based historic cohort.

Setting The Health 2000 Survey was based on a nationally representative sample.

Participants 8028 individuals aged 30 years or over in Finland.

Primary and secondary outcome measures The primary end point event was the first ever hospitalisation due to one of the following causes: pulmonary embolism (International Classification of Diseases-10 I26), cerebral venous non-pyogenic thrombosis (I63.6), or venous thrombosis (I80.9–189).

Results The preselected explanatory variables applied to the Poisson regression model were statin usage (no/yes) during follow-up (2000–2011) and several baseline data (age, sex; usage of blood glucose lowering drugs, vitamin K antagonists and antiplatelet agents). We observed 136 VTE events, the incidence of 1.72 (95% CI 1.44 to 2.04) per 1000 person-years. Current statin usage did not associate with the incidence of VTE according to the univariate model (rate ratio (RR) 0.93, 0.56 to 1.52), but when adjusted with baseline variables (age, sex, medications) the RR declined to 0.60 (0.36 to 1.00, p=0.04).

Conclusions Statin use offers protection against first ever VTE events and appears as a primary prevention tool in patients without anticoagulation or antiplatelet medication.


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