A recent report from London indicatedthat urinary tract and respiratory infectionsincrease the risk of deep veinthrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolus(PE). Data from more than 10,000episodes of thromboembolic events(TEs) were analyzed in the study. In the 2weeks following a urinary tract infection,the risk of TEs more than doubled. Therisk did not return to normal levels formore than a year. Respiratory infectionsalso were associated with an increasedrisk of DVT, but the evidence regardingPE was less clear.
Infections have long been suspectedas a link to cardiovascular problemsinvolving the arteries. The role of infectiousprocesses as a risk for venousevents, however, has not been clearlydefined. The mechanism of the increasedrisk for TEs in the setting of anacute infection is unknown.
Dr. Garrett is a clinical pharmacist practitionerat Cornerstone Health Care in HighPoint, NC.