Mental Health Issues Prevalent Among Younger Patients with Venous Thromboembolism

Pharmacy Times, April 2016 Respiratory Health, Volume 82, Issue 4

The results of a recent study indicate that young patients who develop venous thromboembolism are considerably more likely to experience mental health problems requiring medication therapy than those without the condition.

The results of a recent study indicate that young patients who develop venous thromboembolism (VTE) are considerably more likely to experience mental health problems requiring medication therapy than those without the condition. The study, presented at EuroHeartCare 2015, analyzed data on 4132 patients aged 13 to 33 years who experienced their first VTE between 1997 and 2010.

The research team found that these patients’ risk of purchasing psychotropic drugs following their diagnosis was 7.1% after 1 year and 22.1% after 5 years. Compared with a control group of 19,292 similarly aged individuals without a history of VTE, the patients also had greater risks of 4.7% and 10.8% after 1 and 5 years, respectively; this was true of patients with blood clots in their leg veins and lung veins. Based on these findings, the researchers determined that patients who have been diagnosed with VTE are nearly twice as likely to experience mental health issues requiring medication within 5 years than their healthy peers.

“Young VTE patients are scared of having another VTE and of dying. We treat these patients in our Thrombosis Research Unit and have seen how anxious and mentally unwell they can be, even a long time after the VTE occurs,” said lead researcher Anette Arbjerg Højen, RN, MScN, in a press release. “They are troubled and have a hard time accepting the diagnosis since it is generally perceived as an old person’s disease. Young patients can feel different and isolated.”