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Keywords:

  • polycythaemia vera;
  • risk factors;
  • survival;
  • epidemiology;
  • leukaemia

Summary

Three hundred and twenty-seven patients from two population-based cohorts with an established diagnosis of polycythaemia vera were studied for prognostic risk factors for survival and leukaemia in a long-term survey. The relative survival (RS) was 72% and 46% at 10 and 20 years respectively, from the time of diagnosis. Multivariate analysis identified age >70 years, white blood cell count >13 × 109/l and thrombo-embolism at diagnosis as independent risk factors. Patients with two or three of these factors had a 10 year RS of 26%, compared with 59% and 84% in patients with one and no risk factors, respectively. Age and leucocyte count are the main predicting factors for survival in polycythaemia vera.