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Next month, on 13 October we will celebrate, for the fifth year, World Thrombosis Day. Supported by the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis (ISTH), this day focuses attention on the often overlooked and misunderstood condition of thrombosis, one of the most frequent diseases in Western countries.

Much less known than myocardial infarction or stroke, pulmonary embolism (the consequence of untreated venous thrombosis) kills more people than the two other diseases. It is actually the third cause of vascular death, but how many people would be able to recognize the symptoms? Even among physicians, many times it goes unnoticed.

This year, we have seen venous thromboembolism (VTE, thrombosis and pulmonary embolism) more often in the media since several famous stars have suffered from it. As well, we have seen many cases of VTE in children due to spending long time playing videogames, something that did not happen before.

One of these famous cases has been the one of tennis player Serena Williams who, after being mother for the first time a year ago, presented with a second episode of pulmonary embolism. This and other circumstances pushed her away of big tournaments and when she got back in spring, she had to wear tights and stockings in order to avoid the repetition of thrombi in the legs.

Scientific advances

In the scientific field, research keeps on growing with the RIETE Registry as one of the greatest tools to improve knowledge and treatment of VTE.

It is the largest database regarding this disease, with information (properly anonymized) of roughly 80.000 patients of 26 countries. Since its ste up, back in 2001, the advances provided by the registry have helped to improve VTE treatment and have reduced its mortality.

RIETE is a registry with real-life information that has led to the publication of 160 scientific journals. It still wants to keep on growing, by opening to the medical-scientific community and institutions to help to minimize the risks associated to VTE.

Even if thrombosis and pulmonary embolism can be treated if detected in time, in a high number of cases, there are consequences: from discomfort in the legs and fatigue to shortness of breath.




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