Prof. Oh Doh-yeon and his colleagues in the Department of Hematology and Medical
Oncology at Bundang CHA General
Hospital present clinical epidemiology of Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) in the Korean population
The medical term venous thromboembolism (“VTE”) covers both deep vein thromboses and their consequences pulmonary(lung) emboli (“PE”), which can be fatal. Thrombosis is the formation of a blood clot inside a blood vessel, obstructing the flow of blood through the circulatory system. When a blood vessel is injured, the body uses platelets and fibrin to form a blood clot to prevent blood loss. Alternatively, even when a blood vessel is not injured, blood clots may form in the body if the proper conditions present themselves. If the clotting is too severe and the clot breaks free, the traveling clot is now known as an embolus. Hence the word thromboembolism is the combination of thrombosis and its main complication, embolism. In general, about 50 to 60% of VTE patients report to have PE,, and about 50 to 80% of the PE cases accompany VTE.
Typical signs and symptoms of VTE include leg pain and swelling, hot flashes, and altered skin color; and when VTE progresses to a more advanced stage of PE, the patients may report chest pain, difficulty in breathing, and rapid heartbeat. But for most patients the only apparent symptom may be the swollen leg, and because the nature of disease is often clinically silent and the exact incidence of VTE is unknown a lot of time, it’s often too late for the treatment to be effective. When diagnosed of VTE, the patient is given the anticoagulant to stop blood from clotting
Prof. Doh-yeon Oh Area of specialization: VTE, hemorrhagic disease,
leukemia, and anticancer treatment
Department of Hematology and Medical Oncologybr
Bundang CHA General Hospitalbr
+82 (31) 780-5209
Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis publishes the report by Prof. Doh-yeon Oh and his colleagues. Venous thromboembolism (VTE) used to be commonly found among the Westerners, and it has been perceived for a long time to be less common in Asian populations, particularly in the Far East, than in Western populations. Physicians in Korea lacked awareness of VTE because the problem had not been adequately studied in the past. Professor Doh-yeon Oh and his colleagues have reviewed and analyzed the reports from Korea Health Insurance Review & Assessment Service of the last five years to compile the VTE incidence in the Korean population, and the finding was published on the February issue of the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis.
The VTE incidence in the Korean population increases at a high rate of 64%. In an epidemiological study conducted by Prof. Oh’s research team, which was the largest VTE research of the kind in Asia, and in the research Prof. Oh and his colleagues have discovered that an Asian is about 10 to 20% less likely to develop VTE, in comparison to his or her Western counterpart. What we must pay attention is that the number of Koreans who have received VTE risk assessment has risen sharply at 64%; and that the degree of risk is high especially among the patients older than 60. Because of the Westernized conditions and life-style and growing risk factors for VTE among Koreans, the experts forecast that the incidence of VTE in Korea will rise; and it is time for the medical professionals and for the society to pay more attention to this often clinically silent disease.