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Epidemiology of venous thromboembolism in Africa: a systematic review and meta-analysis protocol

10 Oct 2017


Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is among the three major causes of cardiovascular diseases worldwide after ischaemic heart disease and stroke. Knowledge on the global epidemiology of this condition is deficient in Africa. Accurate data are needed to evaluate the burden of VTE in Africa to design effective preventive and treatment strategies. This systematic review and meta-analysis aims to summarise epidemiological data on VTE in Africa and to evaluate the use of prophylaxis in African patients at risk of VTE.

Methods and analysis

Medline, Embase, Scopus and African Journal Online will be searched for relevant abstracts of studies published between 1 January 1986 and 5 December 2016, without language restriction. After a screening of abstracts, study selection, data extraction and assessment of the risk of bias, we shall assess studies individually for clinical and statistical heterogeneity. Appropriate meta-analytic technics will then be used to pool studies judged to be clinically homogeneous. Funnel-plots analysis and Egger’s test will be used to detect publication bias. Results will be presented by geographical region (Central, Eastern, Northern, Southern and Western Africa). This systematic review will be reported according to the Meta-analysis of Observational Studies in Epidemiology Guidelines.

Ethics and dissemination

The current study will be based on published data, and thus ethics consideration is not required. This review is expected to provide relevant data to help in quantifying the magnitude of this disease in Africa. The final report of this study will be published in a peer-reviewed journal and the findings will be submitted to relevant health authorities.

Trial registration number

The protocol for this review has been published in the International Prospective Register of systematic reviews (, registration number: PROSPERO CRD42017056253.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in BMJ Open

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