A recent report from London indicated that urinary tract and respiratory infections increase the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolus (PE). Data from more than 10,000 episodes of thromboembolic events (TEs) were analyzed in the study. In the 2 weeks following a urinary tract infection, the risk of TEs more than doubled. The risk did not return to normal levels for more than a year. Respiratory infections also were associated with an increased risk of DVT, but the evidence regarding PE was less clear.
Infections have long been suspected as a link to cardiovascular problems involving the arteries. The role of infectious processes as a risk for venous events, however, has not been clearly defined. The mechanism of the increased risk for TEs in the setting of an acute infection is unknown.
Dr. Garrett is a clinical pharmacist practitioner at Cornerstone Health Care in High Point, NC.