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Editor's Note |

Weighing Benefits and Risks:  Comment on “Use of Glucocorticoids and Risk of Venous Thromboembolism”

Mitchell H. Katz, MD
JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173(9):752. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.133.
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Glucocorticoids are one of the most widely prescribed medications. They are effective for a large and diverse set of illnesses ranging from asthma to systemic lupus erythematosus. Unfortunately, their efficacy is accompanied by many adverse effects, including increased infection risk, hyperglycemia, hypertension, and mania.

But does glucocorticoid use also cause venous thromboembolism? This is not a simple question to answer because some of the illnesses that are treated with glucocorticoids may themselves cause venous thromboembolism (eg, autoimmune diseases) or may result in immobility that predisposes to venous thromboembolism.

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