African Americans with Cancer at Higher Risk for Blood Clots

The findings of a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Oncology suggests African Americans are at higher risk for cancer-associated venous thromboembolism (VTE) compared to patients from other races.

In this study, Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) identified 16,498 individuals diagnosed with organ and hematologic cancers between 2004 to 2018. In this this group they found 186 VTE cases, of which the majority of the events occurred within the first two years of cancer diagnosis.

The results of the study showed that African American patients had a three times higher incidence of VTE juxtaposed to white patients, and this difference was especially observed in lung, gastric and colorectal cancers. The researchers noted that in lung cancer, the odds of developing VTE in African American patients was almost three times greater than those in white patients.

The BUSM researchers believe that this study has implications for developing new tools that integrate race as a risk factor to help physicians make more accurate VTE predictions in cancer patients. Corresponding author Vipul Chitalia, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine at BUSM stated in a press release that: “The integration of race into treatment algorithms for anticoagulation in cancer patients may further optimize risk-predictive models and more accurately stratify the risk of cancer-associated VTE.”