New-onset heart failure (HF) is associated with cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. It is uncertain to what extent HF confers an increased risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE). Adults ≥65 years old hospitalized with a new diagnosis of HF were identified from Medicare claims from 2007–2013. We identified the incidence, predictors and outcomes of VTE in HF. We compared VTE incidence during follow-up after HF hospitalization with a corresponding period 1-year prior to the HF diagnosis. Among 207,535 patients with a new HF diagnosis, the cumulative incidence of VTE was 1.4%, 2.5%, and 10.5% at 30 days, 1 year, and 5 years, respectively. The odds of VTE were greatest immediately after new-onset HF and steadily declined over time (OR 2.2 [95% CI 2.0–2.3], OR 1.5 [1.4–1.7], and OR 1.2 [1.2–1.3] at 0–30 days, 4–6 months, and 7–9 months, respectively). Over 26-month follow-up, patients with HF were at two-fold higher risk of VTE than patients without HF (adjusted HR 2.31 [2.18–2.45]). VTE during follow-up was associated with long-term mortality (adjusted HR 1.60, 95% CI 1.56–1.64). In conclusion, patients with HF are at increased risk of VTE early after a new HF diagnosis. VTE in patients with HF is associated with long-term mortality.
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