Competing Risks Analysis of Cancer-associated Recurrent Thrombosis, Major Bleeds, and Death in a Geriatric Cohort

Joshua D. Brown, Kelley L. Ratermann, Kelley L. Ratermann, Jeffery C. Talbert, Val R. Adams, Val R. Adams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Individuals with cancer are at an increased risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE). There is a continued increased risk of recurrent VTE after the initial event as well as increased bleed risk related to VTE treatment. Objectives: This study sought to observe the incidence of recurrent VTE, major bleeding, and death in a geriatric oncology population during treatment for a cancer-associated VTE. Methods: We utilized an insurance claims database of Medicare Advantage beneficiaries 65 and older. The index VTE was identified and individuals were followed up to 180 days to observe an outcome event. Treatment groups were classified among those receiving warfarin, low-molecular weight heparins (LMWH), vena cava (VC) filters with or without anticoagulation, or no treatment. Treatment groups were compared on baseline demographic and clinical characteristics and an inverse probability of treatment weight was used to balance these factors between the groups. A competing risks, time-to-event analysis was performed including treatment only models as well as adjusted models with additional covariates. Causespecific hazards ratios (HRs) and their 95% confidence intervals were reported. Results: Treatment groups differed on baseline variables including age, comorbidities, and tumor sites. After balancing the treatment groups on baseline characteristics, those receiving LMWHs had no difference in recurrent VTE compared to warfarin but had less than half the risk of major bleeding (HR=0.48 [0.27-0.85]). Those receiving VC filters had increased risk of all outcome events relative to warfarin. Conclusion: Patients over the age of 65 with cancer are at a high risk of experiencing recurrent VTE and major bleeding during treatment for a cancer-associated VTE. These results are consistent with United States guidelines which recommend LMWHs over warfarin for treatment and secondary prevention of VTE.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Health Economics and Outcomes Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 18 2015


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