Although the incidence of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in Asian populations is lower than in Western countries, the overall burden of VTE in Asia has been considerably underestimated. Factors that may explain the lower prevalence of VTE in Asian populations relative to Western populations include the limited availability of epidemiological data in Asia, ethnic differences in the genetic predisposition to VTE, underdiagnoses, low awareness toward thrombotic disease, and possibly less symptomatic VTE in Asian patients. The clinical assessment, diagnostic testing, and therapeutic considerations for VTE are, in general, the same in Asian populations as they are in Western populations. The management of VTE is based upon balancing the treatment benefits against the risk of bleeding. This is an especially important consideration for Asian populations because of increased risk of intracranial hemorrhage with vitamin K antagonists. Non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants have shown advantages over current treatment modalities with respect to bleeding outcomes in major phase 3 clinical trials, including in Asian populations. Although anticoagulant therapy has been shown to reduce the risk of postoperative VTE in Western populations, VTE prophylaxis is not administered routinely in Asian countries. Despite advances in the management of VTE, data in Asian populations on the incidence, prevalence, recurrence, risk factors, and management of bleeding complications are limited and there is need for increased awareness. To that end, this review summarizes the available data on the epidemiology, risk stratification, diagnosis, and treatment considerations in the management of VTE in Asia.
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- The diagnosis and treatment of venous thromboembolism in Asian patients
Eng Soo Yap
- BioMed Central
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