Introduction: Statins may be causally associated with a decreased risk of venous thrombosis. If so, this could be a substantive breakthrough since statins do not increase the risk of bleeding and could therefore be used as a safer antithrombotic drug. However, scepticism exists on the observed reduction of venous thrombosis by statins, as it may have been confounded by healthy user effects or other biases. Areas covered: The main focus of this review will be the biases that may have arisen in clinical studies that investigated the relationship between statin use and risk of venous thrombosis. We also discuss the suggested causal association from a pathophysiological perspective. Furthermore, we integrate the knowledge from clinical and pathophysiological studies into a proposal for new study designs that are needed to sufficiently answer the question whether we can, and should, prevent recurrent venous thrombosis with statins. Expert commentary: A drug to prevent recurrent venous thrombosis in patients at risk of bleeding that does not induce bleeding and in which the number needed to treat for the prevention of venous thrombosis is sufficiently high, is a remedy that we should continue to look for, and for which statin therapy might be a suitable candidate.

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Expert Review of Hematology
Department of Hematology

Lijfering, W. M., Biedermann, J., Kruip, M., Leebeek, F., Rosendaal, F., & Cannegieter, S. (2016). Can we prevent venous thrombosis with statins: an epidemiologic review into mechanism and clinical utility. Expert Review of Hematology, 9(11), 1023–1030. doi:10.1080/17474086.2016.1245137