• venous thromboembolism;
  • deep vein thrombosis;
  • pulmonary embolism;
  • ethnicity;
  • race


Venous thromboembolism (VTE) has long been considered a disease that affects predominantly white populations, a misconception resulting from a paucity of epidemiological data from non-Western countries, and the low incidence of hereditary thrombophilia in those of non-Caucasian background. Over the last decade, interest has grown in this area with the emergence of evidence that VTE is as prevalent, if not more so, in the black population and is also common in Asian groups. Much is still to be learned, as our current knowledge of hereditary thrombophilia and acquired risk factors do not fully explain the risk of VTE in non-Caucasian groups. This review summarises the current understanding of ethnic variation in VTE and highlights the need for further research in this area.