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Cohort study
Overweight and obese middle-aged women have increased risk of venous thromboembolism, particularly following surgery
  1. Simon McRae
  1. Department of Haematology, SA Pathology, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
  1. Correspondence to: Dr Simon McRae
    Department of Haematology, Royal Adelaide Hospital, North Terrace, Adelaide, SA 5156, Australia; simon.mcrae{at}

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Implications for practice and research

  • Obesity is associated with an increased risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) including both spontaneous and postoperative events.

  • Further research is needed regarding factors responsible for the increase in postoperative VTE in overweight patients, and whether management should be altered (eg, increased focus on postoperative mobilisation, altered doses of prophylactic anticoagulants, lower threshold for starting prophylactic anticoagulation for minor surgical procedures).

  • Weight loss prior to surgery may reduce risk of venous thrombosis.


About 0.1% of individuals develop VTE each year.1 Previous case–control studies, suggest that being overweight (body mass index (BMI) >25–29.9 kg/m2) or obese (BMI>30 kg/m2) results in an approximate twofold increase …

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  • Competing interests None.