Venous Thromboembolism Linked to Hospitalization for an Eating Disorder

Researchers in Japan identified several characteristics that appeared linked to venous thromboembolism in patients hospitalized for an eating disorder.

Researchers identified characteristics associated with development of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in patients hospitalized with an eating disorder (ED). The study findings were reported in the journal Acta Medica Okayama.

Patients with an ED who are severely underweight may be given bed rest to conserve their energy, which could potentially be associated with a risk of VTE. For this reason, the researchers had a goal of characterizing features in patients with EDs who developed VTE, compared with patients who did not.

A total of 71 patients with an ED were included in this study. These patients had been admitted to Okayama University Hospital in Okayama, Japan, during a study period ranging from 2016 to 2020.

The researchers evaluated multiple patient characteristics in comparisons based on whether patients developed VTE. Predictors of VTE were identified using univariate analyses; given a small number of VTE events, multivariate statistics were not used.

For the early detection of VTE, the measurement of D-dimer values and the monitoring of clinical symptoms are useful.

In this population, 5 patients experienced VTE during hospitalization. Among patients with VTE, the median age before admission was 35 years, whereas patients without VTE had a median age of 20 years. Patients who experienced VTE were reportedly not using tobacco products or receiving hormonal contraceptive treatment.

D-dimer values were available for 35 patients of the total study population, with 15 of these patients having a level considered to be within normal limits. Among patients with elevated D-dimer levels, 13 had a mild increase, which reportedly had quickly normalized.

Univariate analysis revealed several factors present at the time of admission that appeared significantly associated with having VTE. These included the duration of the patient’s ED (P =.020), the patient’s body weight on admission (P =.022), and the patient’s body mass index on admission (P =.010). Factors present during hospitalization that appeared linked to VTE in univariate analysis included the D-dimer value (P =.022), the use of physical restraint (P =.041), and the use of a central venous catheter (P =.010). During hospitalization, median D-dimer values were 11.9 mg/L among patients with VTE and 1.0 mg/L in those without VTE.

Based on these study results, researchers concluded that in patients with an ED, possible VTE risk factors were a low body mass index, longer ED duration, and care that involved the use of physical restraints or a central venous catheter. “For the early detection of VTE, the measurement of D-dimer values and the monitoring of clinical symptoms are useful,” they wrote in their report.

This article originally appeared on Hematology Advisor


Senda M, Terada S, Fujiwara M, Yamada N. Venous thromboembolism in eating disorders: a retrospective observational study. Acta Med Okayama. 2023;77(2):131-137. doi:10.18926/AMO/65142