Intern Med J. 2020 May;50(5):627-631. doi: 10.1111/imj.14824.
The incidence of pulmonary embolism (PE) in the oldest old (persons aged ≥85) is increasing, but there are limited data on its clinical features and diagnosis. We performed a retrospective cohort study of 302 consecutive patients with confirmed PE and compared the oldest old to the young (aged <65) and the younger old (aged 65-84). The most common symptoms in the oldest old were dyspnoea (74.3%) and tachypnoea (71.4%), but the prevalence of chest pain decreased with advancing age. Delayed diagnosis was most common in the oldest old and was associated with increasing age, absence of dyspnoea, presence of cardiorespiratory disease and a higher Charlson Comorbidity index. Better age-specific diagnostic pathways are required in this population.