News in brief: Study supports short-term anticoagulation post contraceptive-linked VTE; Myeloma survival rates improve; Patient satisfaction remains high for hospital doctors

Study supports short-term anticoagulation post contraceptive-linked VTE

Women who have experienced a venous thromboembolism linked with oestrogen-containing contraception are at low risk of recurrence after stopping anticoagulation, suggest findings of a study published in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

According to the authors, the findings support the use of short-term anticoagulation in women with contraceptive-linked VTE, but they also stressed that large, prospective studies on VTE recurrence and risk factors after stopping anticoagulation are needed to define clinical practice.

For the study, the research team used EMBASE, MEDLINE and CENTRAL databases to search for prospective and retrospective studies reporting on recurrence after a first VTE linked to oestrogen-containing contraceptives.

From 14 trials included in the analysis, the pooled VTE recurrence rate was found to be low at 1.57 per 100 patient-years, while those for studies with up to a year’s follow up were 1.35 and 1.42 for those with more than 5 years follow up.

“These findings suggest that only short-term anticoagulation for 3-6 months after an oestrogen-containing related VTE could be appropriate,” the authors noted.

The study does have some important limitations, including “substantial heterogeneity” in most of meta-analyses, the fact that some women use different types of oestrogen-containing hormones, that might be linked with different recurrence rates, and limited data on the other risk factors for women such as BMS or length of contraceptive use prior to VTE.

Myeloma survival rates improve

Patients with myeloma have shown the biggest improvement in five-year survival when compared to those with other types of cancer, according to a UK report.

Cancer Survival in England for Patients Diagnosed Between 2015 and 2019 showed average annual rises in five-year survival for patients with myeloma of 1.0% for males and 1.4% for females, while five-year survival was 54.9% and 56.7%, respectively.

By comparison, five-year survival for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma rose by 0.3% year-on-year for both men and women, while the biggest drop was seen for bladder cancer, for which average annual decreases in five-year survival were 0.5% for men and 0.6% for women.

According to the Department for Health and Social Care, “huge strides in cancer care have been made in recent years”, with one-year survival rates increasing more than 10% in the last 15 years. However, COVID-19 has had a significant impact on progress, with nearly 50,000 fewer cancer diagnosis across the UK over the course of the pandemic so far and a huge backlog of patients currently waiting to be seen in secondary care.

Patient satisfaction remains high for hospital doctors

Patients’ satisfaction with the way they are treated by hospital doctors or specialists has remained during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the latest figures.

The 2022 Report on Government Services for public hospitals covering the period 2020-2021 shows that nationally, 91.8% of patients reported that doctors “always or often listened carefully to them and 93.2% always or often showed respect to them. Likewise, 90.3% of patients said doctors spent enough time with them.

The figures for 2020-21 were not significantly different from previous years.

However the report also showed that elective surgery waiting times increased significantly for public hospitals in 2020-21. Nationally, 50% cent of patients were admitted within 48 days (up from 39 days in 2019-20) and 90% of patients were admitted within 348 days (up from 281 days in 2019-20).

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