Incidence of Venous Thromboembolism in Asian Populations: A Systematic Review

Lai Heng Lee, Alexander Gallus, Ravul Jindal, Chen Wang, Chau Chung Wu

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    56 Citations (Scopus)


    Introduction Despite a marked recent increase in the number of publications describing the incidence of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in Asia, and especially in mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Japan and Singapore, there remains a lack of consensus on the true risks, and trends over time, to inform appropriate clinical practice. The purpose of this systematic review was therefore to examine evidence about the incidence of symptomatic VTE in Asia. Methods Databases were searched for studies from Asia, published between January 1995 and February 2016, on the incidence of symptomatic VTE, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism. Review of eligible studies was conducted independently by two reviewers. Data were extracted on incidence, predispositions and recurrence of VTE. Results One thousand nighty-five studies were identified, of which 73 were eligible for full text review and data extraction. Three population-wide estimates of VTE rates identified from Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong reported annual incidences of 13.8, 15.9 and 19.9 per 100,000, respectively. Nine studies of Asian hospital registries or databases reported VTE rates ranging from 11 to 88 cases per 10,000 admissions. Population-based estimates of post-surgical DVT rates ranged from 0.15 to 1.35%. Age was a significant risk factor for VTE in all population groups. Conclusion Population-wide incidence estimates in Asia were approximately 15 to 20% of the levels recorded in western countries but have increased over time. It is anticipated this synthesis of evidence on the incidence of VTE and its predisposing factors will increase awareness about VTE in Asian populations.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2243-2260
    Number of pages18
    JournalThrombosis and Haemostasis
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017


    • Asian population
    • deep vein thrombosis
    • epidemiology
    • pulmonary embolism
    • venous thromboembolism


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