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Background rates of five thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndromes of special interest for COVID-19 vaccine safety surveillance: incidence between 2017 and 2019 and patient profiles from 20.6 million people in six European countries

By Edward Burn, Xintong Li, Kristin Kostka, Henry Morgan Stewart, Christian Reich, Sarah Seager, Talita Duarte-Salles, Sergio Fernandez-Bertolin, María Aragón, Carlen Reyes, Eugenia Martinez-Hernandez, Edelmira Marti, Antonella Delmestri, Katia Verhamme, Peter Rijnbeek, Daniel Prieto-Alhambra

Posted 13 May 2021
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.05.12.21257083

Background Thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) has been reported among individuals vaccinated with adenovirus-vectored COVID-19 vaccines. In this study we describe the background incidence of TTS in 6 European countries. Methods Electronic medical records from France, Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom informed the study. Incidence rates of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST), splanchnic vein thrombosis (SVT), deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism (PE), and stroke, all with concurrent thrombocytopenia, were estimated among the general population between 2017 to 2019. A range of additional adverse events of special interest for COVID-19 vaccinations were also studied in a similar manner. Findings A total of 20,599,134 individuals were included. Background rates ranged from 1.0 (0.7 to 1.4) to 1.5 (1.0 to 2.0) per 100,000 person-years for DVT with thrombocytopenia, from 0.5 (0.3 to 0.6) to 1.4 (1.1 to 1.8) for PE with thrombocytopenia, from 0.1 (0.0 to 0.1) to 0.7 (0.5 to 0.9) for SVT with thrombocytopenia, and from 0.2 (0.0 to 0.4) to 4.4 (3.9 to 5.0) for stroke with thrombocytopenia. CVST with thrombocytopenia was only identified in one database, with incidence rate of 0.1 (0.0 to 0.2) per 100,000 person-years. The incidence of TTS increased with age, with those affected typically having more comorbidities and greater medication use than the general population. TTS was also more often seen in men than women. A sizeable proportion of those affected were seen to have been taking antithrombotic and anticoagulant therapies prior to their TTS event. Interpretation Although rates vary across databases, TTS has consistently been seen to be a very rare event among the general population. While still very rare, rates of TTS are typically higher among older individuals, and those affected were also seen to generally be male and have more comorbidities and greater medication use than the general population. Funding This study was funded by the European Medicines Agency (EMA/2017/09/PE Lot 3).

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