Line Holtet Evensen‘s research indicates that physical activity and fitness are modifiable targets for prevention of venous thromboembolism.


  1. Regular physical activity is linked to lower risk of venous thrombosis.

  2. Low estimated cardiorespiratory fitness is associated with increased risk of venous thrombosis.
  3. Physically active persons have lower risk of dying following venous thrombosis.


Thesis: Physical activity, cardiorespiratory fitness and venous thromboembolism
Candidate: Line Holtet Evensen
Time: February 7, 2020 at 12:15
Place: UiT The Arctic University of Norway, MH2: Auditorium Cerebellum
Link to university website


(1) One hour or more of physical activity per week is associated with 23% reduced risk of venous thromboembolism. The association was especially strong in older persons, with a risk reduction of 30%. The associations were partly mediated by BMI.

The study includes 30,000 participants from the Tromsø 4, 5 and 6 studies, performed between 1994 and 2008. 531 of them had a first venous thrombosis before the end of 2016.

(2) Higher than age-expected cardiorespiratory fitness is linked to lower risk of venous thromboembolism. Evensen and co-workers used a validated non-exercise fitness calculator to estimate cardiorespiratory fitness in more than 10,000 men and women from the Tromsø 6 Study. 167 of them had a venous thrombosis during the follow-up period of median 8.5 years.

Those with higher than average fitness had 67% lower risk of incident  venous thromboembolism, compared with those who had a fitness level of less than 85% of expected. The risk was also substantially reduced in those with intermediate fitness levels.

(3) Physical activity does not seem to influence the risk of recurrent venous thrombosis. Evensen and coworkers found no significant  association between pre-event activity levels and venous thrombosis risk in 786 patients with incident venous thromboembolism.

However, physically active men and women had 28% lower risk of dying following venous thrombosis, compared to inactive. This association was stronger in patients with deep vein thrombosis than in patients with pulmonary embolism.


(1) Evensen, L. H., Isaksen, T., Hindberg, K., Brækkan, S. K., & Hansen, J. B. (2018). Repeated assessments of physical activity and risk of incident venous thromboembolismJournal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis16(11), 2208-2217.

(2) Evensen, L. H., Isaksen, T., Brækkan, S. K., & Hansen, J. B. (2019). Physical activity and risk of recurrence and mortality after incident venous thromboembolismJournal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis17(6), 901-911.

(3) Evensen, L. H., Isaksen, T., Brækkan, S. K., & Hansen, J. B. (2019). Cardiorespiratory fitness and future risk of venous thromboembolismJournal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis17(12), 2160-2168.

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