Thromboembolic Events Among Patients with Polycythemia Vera Linked to Significant Costs, All-Cause Mortality

By Cailin Conner - Last Updated: September 10, 2023

Hospitalizations related to thromboembolic events (TEs) among patients with polycythemia vera were associated with substantial health care resource utilization (HCRU), costs, and all-cause mortality, according to a study presented at the Eleventh Annual Meeting of the Society of Hematologic Oncology.

The primary objective of the study was to examine the HCRU and costs associated with TE-related hospitalizations in patients with polycythemia vera. By analyzing a large dataset spanning from January 1, 2017, to June 30, 2020, the researchers aimed to quantify the extent of the burden placed on hospitals, patients, and payers due to thromboembolic complications in patients with polycythemia vera.

The investigators utilized a dataset which encompassed 25% of inpatient discharges in the United States. Patients with polycythemia vera and venous thromboembolism and/or arterial thromboembolism (ATE) were identified from the dataset. Data on HCRU, lengths of stay (LOS), and costs were collected for the index TEs hospitalization and a period of two years following the index discharge.

The study population encompassed 3,494 patients. Of which, 69.2% patients presented with arterial thromboembolism, 27.1% venous thromboembolism, and 3.7% experienced both types of TEs. The most common TEs observed were ischemic stroke (46%), myocardial infarction (25%), deep vein thrombosis (23%), and pulmonary embolism (13%).

During the initial TE-related hospitalization, the average length of stay was seven days. The average hospitalization cost was $24,403, which when compared with a medically ill, nonsurigcal cohort with venous thromboembolism from a prior study that utilized the same dataset, exceeded the average total cost ($15,814–$20,282).

The investigators found the risk of TE-related readmission to increase over time, observing a 6% risk at 30 days, 10% at 90 days, 16% at one year, and 20% at two years. Likewise, the average TE-related readmission cost also increased over time, reaching $19,334 at 30 days and $29,531 at two years. The combined average cost for the index hospitalization and two-year TE-related readmissions was $30,285.

The study also highlighted a 6% all-cause in-hospital mortality rate during the index hospitalization, with a further 5% mortality rate within two years following the index discharge.

“Average hospitalization cost was greater than that observed in general medically ill patients with VTE, highlighting the complexity of this population and the importance of TE prevention in [polycythemia vera] management,” the investigators wrote in conclusion.


Yu J, Gayle J, Rosenthal N, et al. Inpatient Resource Utilization and Costs Associated With Hospitalizations for Thromboembolic Events Among Patients With Polycythemia Vera. Abstract MPN-512. Presented at the Eleventh Annual Meeting of the Society of Hematologic Oncology; September 6-9, 2023; Houston, Texas.

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