Recent studies indicate that arterial cardiovascular diseases and venous thromboembolism (VTE) share common risk factors. A family history of myocardial infarction (MI) is a strong and independent risk factor for future MI.
The purpose of the present study was to determine the impact of cardiovascular risk factors, including family history of MI, on the incidence of VTE in a prospective, population-based study.
Traditional cardiovascular risk factors and family history of MI were registered in 21,330 subjects, aged 25-96 years, enrolled in the Tromsø study in 1994-95. First-lifetime VTE events during follow-up were registered up to 1 September 2007.
There were 327 VTE events (1.40 per 1000 person-years), 138 (42%) unprovoked, during a mean of 10.9 years of follow-up. In age- and gender-adjusted analysis, age [hazard ratio (HR) per decade, 1.97; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.82-2.12], gender (men vs. women; HR, 1.25; 95% CI, 1.01-1.55), body mass index (BMI; HR per 3 kg m(-2), 1.21; 95% CI, 1.13-1.31), and family history of MI (HR, 1.31; 95% CI, 1.04-1.65) were significantly associated with VTE. Family history of MI remained a significant risk factor for total VTE (HR, 1.27; 95% CI, 1.01-1.60) and unprovoked VTE (HR, 1.46; 95% CI, 1.03-2.07) in multivariable analysis. Blood pressure, total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, triglycerides, and smoking were not independently associated with total VTE.
Family history of MI is a risk factor for both MI and VTE, and provides further evidence of a link between venous and arterial thrombosis.