Unprovoked pulmonary embolism in older adults: incidence and prognosis

Link to article at PubMed

Arch Med Sci. 2021 Feb 26;17(2):337-342. doi: 10.5114/aoms/90673. eCollection 2021.


INTRODUCTION: Unprovoked pulmonary embolism (UPE) is not rare and it is associated with an unfavorable prognosis in adults. However, the incidence and the prognosis of UPE in older adults have never been studied.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: This was a historical prospective study. We reviewed all the medical charts of all older adults (aged 70 years or more) with UPE, provoked pulmonary embolism (PPE), and malignancy-associated PE (MAPE), admitted to a tertiary medical center between 2010 and 2012. The all-cause 3-year mortality rates and cumulative survival following admission were compared between the groups.

RESULTS: The final cohort included 249 patients with PE: 161 (64.7%) were women; the mean age was 79.8 ±5.7 years. Overall, 36 (14.5%) patients had UPE, 81 (32.5%) patients had MAPE, and 132 (53.0%) patients had PPE. Overall, 39 (15.7%) patients died within 30 days, 76 (30.5%) patients died within 6 months, 101 (40.6%) patients died within 1 year, and 136 (54.6%) patients died within 3 years of admission. Relative to PPE and MAPE patients, the cumulative survival was significantly higher in UPE patients at each time point within 1 year of admission (p < 0.05 and p < 0.001, respectively). However, 3 years after admission, the cumulative survival was comparable between PPE patients and UPE patients, and was significantly lower in MAPE patients (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: UPE is not rare in older adults with PE, and it is associated with a favorable prognosis within 1 year of admission in this population.

PMID:33747268 | PMC:PMC7959013 | DOI:10.5114/aoms/90673

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