HealthDay News — There is an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD) among patients with idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), especially those who undergo splenectomy, according to a study published online January 3 in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

Joht Singh Chandan, MBBS, from Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, U.K., and colleagues used data from 6,591 patients with ITP and 24,275 controls matched by age, sex, body mass index, and smoking status. The groups were compared with respect to the risk of CVD, including ischemic heart disease, stroke, trans-ischemic attack, and heart failure. 

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The researchers found that over a median 6-year period there were 392 CVD diagnoses among ITP patients (5.9%) and 1,114 among controls (4.5%). The elevated risk of developing CVD in the ITP cohort (adjusted incidence rate ratio [IRR], 1.38) remained even after a sensitivity analysis which included only incident cases of ITP. The risk of developing CVD was further elevated among patients who underwent splenectomy (adjusted IRR, 1.69).

“Physicians should routinely evaluate for cardiovascular symptoms and manage risk factors for cardiovascular disease optimally in patients with ITP,” the authors write. “Decision on offering splenectomy to patients with ITP should take into consideration future increased risk of cardiovascular disease.”

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