Doctoral Defense, Henrik Toft Sørensen

The Department of Clinical Medicine, Aalborg University is pleased to invite to doctoral defense by Professor Henrik Toft Sørensen, who will defend the thesis entitled: Studies on the Associations among Venous Thromboembolism, Cancer, Arterial Cardio-vascular Events, and Mortality


11.02.2021 kl. 13.00 - 19.00


The defense will take place

11 February 2021 at 13.00

Due to Covid-19, the defense will be held virtually via Zoom.
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Assessment Committee

Professor Kaare Christensen, PhD, DMSc
Unit of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Biodemography
University of Southern Denmark

Professor Emeritus Harald Arnesen, PhD, FESC
Center for Clinical Heart Research, Department of Cardiology
Oslo University Hospital

Professor Asbjørn Mohr Drewes, PhD, DMSc (Chairman)
Department of Clinical Medicine
Aalborg University



Venous thromboembolism occurs frequently and has a severe prognosis. This doctoral dissertation is based on a review of twelve published papers on the association among venous thromboembolism, cancer, arterial cardiovascular events, and mortality. 

The studies were made possible through Danish health and administrative registries, a unique international resource for research.

The main conclusion of the studies is that deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism may be markers of occult cancer. Such cancers are often at an advanced stage at time of diagnosis and patients have a poor prognosis. Superficial venous thrombosis is also a marker of occult cancer. Venous thromboembolism occurring in cancer patients a year or more after the initial cancer diagnosis may be a marker of a new cancer diagnosis. Cancer patients have a substantially increased risk of venous thromboembolism compared to the general population.

Venous thromboembolism was also found to be associated with increased risk of acute myocardial infarction and stroke up to 20 years after the thromboembotic event. Furthermore, both acute myocardial infarction and stroke are associated with the increased risk of venous thromboembolism. The risk of acute myocardial infarction is transient but the risk persists for stroke. Heart disease may also be a risk factor for pulmonary embolism with concomitant venous thrombosis, especially pronounced for right-sided heart disease.

The research also shows that both superficial venous thrombosis and splanchic venous thrombosis are associated with increased risk of arterial events and cancer. In case of cancer, the prognosis is serious.

Patients with venous thromboembolism have a high risk of mortality, especially the first year after diagnosis, and retained a higher mortality rate than the general population during ensuing decades.


Department of Clinical Medicine, Aalborg University


Online via Zoom

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10.02.2021 kl. 12.00

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