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National and Regional Trends in Deep Vein Thrombosis Hospitalization Rates, Discharge Disposition, and Outcomes for Medicare Beneficiaries

Older adults are at increased risk of developing deep vein thrombosis. Little is known about national trends of deep vein thrombosis hospitalizations in the context of primary and secondary prevention efforts.


Medicare standard analytic files were analyzed from 2015-2017 to identify Fee-For-Service patients aged ≥65 years who had a principal discharge diagnosis for deep vein thrombosis from 1999 to 2010. We reported the deep vein thrombosis hospitalization rates per 100,000 person-years as well as 30-day and 1-year mortality rates. We used mixed-effects models to calculate adjusted outcomes.


Overall, there were 726,423 deep vein thrombosis hospitalizations in Medicare Fee-for-Service from 1999 to 2010. Deep vein thrombosis hospitalization rate adjusted for age, sex, and race decreased from 264 per 100,000 person-years in 1999 to 167 per 100,000 person-years in 2010, a relative decline of 36.7% (P < .0001). Hospitalizations decreased for all subgroups by age, sex, and race with the exception of black patients (316 to 382 per 100,000 person-years, a relative increase of 20.8%) (P < .0001). Hospital length of stay decreased from 6.1 days in 1999 to 5.0 days in 2010, and the proportion of patients discharged to home decreased from 57.2% to 44.1%. Risk-adjusted 30-day, 6-month, and 1-year mortality and 30-day readmission rates remained relatively stable across the study period, but were highest among women in recent years.


The overall deep vein thrombosis hospitalization rate decreased from 1999 to 2010, except for black patients. Decreases in hospitalizations may reflect changes in clinical practice with increased outpatient rather than inpatient management, and faster transitions to outpatient care for management of deep vein thrombosis.

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-Karl E. Minges, PhD, MPH, Behnood Bikdeli, MD, Yun Wang, PhD, MSc, Robert R. Attaran, MD, Harlan M. Krumholz, MD, SM

This article originally appeared in the October issue of The American Journal of Medicine.

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