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JAMA Netw Open


Importance: COVID-19 is associated with a high incidence of thrombotic events; however, the need for extended thromboprophylaxis after hospitalization remains unclear.

Objective: To quantify the rate of postdischarge arterial and venous thromboembolism in patients with COVID-19, identify the factors associated with the risk of postdischarge venous thromboembolism, and evaluate the association of postdischarge anticoagulation use with venous thromboembolism incidence.

Design, Setting, and Participants: This is a cohort study of adult patients hospitalized with COVID-19 confirmed by a positive SARS-CoV-2 test. Eligible patients were enrolled at 5 hospitals of the Henry Ford Health System from March 1 to November 30, 2020. Data analysis was performed from April to June 2021.

Exposures: Anticoagulant therapy after discharge.

Main Outcomes and Measures: New onset of symptomatic arterial and venous thromboembolic events within 90 days after discharge from the index admission for COVID-19 infection were identified using International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, Tenth Revision codes.

Results: In this cohort study of 2832 adult patients hospitalized with COVID-19, the mean (SD) age was 63.4 (16.7) years (IQR, 53-75 years), and 1347 patients (47.6%) were men. Thirty-six patients (1.3%) had postdischarge venous thromboembolic events (16 pulmonary embolism, 18 deep vein thrombosis, and 2 portal vein thrombosis). Fifteen (0.5%) postdischarge arterial thromboembolic events were observed (1 transient ischemic attack and 14 acute coronary syndrome). The risk of venous thromboembolism decreased with time (Mann-Kendall trend test, P < .001), with a median (IQR) time to event of 16 (7-43) days. There was no change in the risk of arterial thromboembolism with time (Mann-Kendall trend test, P = .37), with a median (IQR) time to event of 37 (10-63) days. Patients with a history of venous thromboembolism (odds ratio [OR], 3.24; 95% CI, 1.34-7.86), peak dimerized plasmin fragment D (D-dimer) level greater than 3 μg/mL (OR, 3.76; 95% CI, 1.86-7.57), and predischarge C-reactive protein level greater than 10 mg/dL (OR, 3.02; 95% CI, 1.45-6.29) were more likely to experience venous thromboembolism after discharge. Prescriptions for therapeutic anticoagulation at discharge were associated with reduced incidence of venous thromboembolism (OR, 0.18; 95% CI, 0.04-0.75; P = .02).

Conclusions and Relevance: Although extended thromboprophylaxis in unselected patients with COVID-19 is not supported, these findings suggest that postdischarge anticoagulation may be considered for high-risk patients who have a history of venous thromboembolism, peak D-dimer level greater than 3 μg/mL, and predischarge C-reactive protein level greater than 10 mg/dL, if their bleeding risk is low.

Medical Subject Headings

Adult; Aged; Anticoagulants; COVID-19; Cohort Studies; Female; Humans; Patient Discharge; Pulmonary Embolism; Risk Factors; Thrombosis; Venous Thrombosis

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