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Chest. 1999 Oct;116(4):909-13.

Incidence of acute pulmonary embolism in a general hospital: relation to age, sex, and race.

Author information

1
Henry Ford Heart and Vascular Institute, Detroit, MI. pstein1@hfhs.org

Abstract

PURPOSE:

The purpose of this investigation is to determine the incidence of acute pulmonary embolism (PE) according to age, sex, and race in a tertiary care general hospital.

BACKGROUND:

Population-based investigations and autopsy studies have shown that acute PE occurs predominantly in middle-aged and elderly people. The incidence of PE according to age, race, and sex in a general hospital has been only sparsely studied.

METHODS:

Patients with PE diagnosed by a high-probability ventilation/perfusion lung scan or pulmonary angiography were identified in a tertiary care general hospital. The incidence of PE was determined according to age, sex, and race.

RESULTS:

The incidence of PE was 400 of 175,730 (0.23%; 95% CI, 0.21 to 0.25%). The incidence was linearly related to age (r = 0.94). Among patients >/= 50 years of age, the incidence of PE was higher among women (0.40% vs 0.29%; p < 0.01). The incidence was comparable among patients < 50 years of age. African Americans showed an incidence of 0.26%, and whites showed an incidence of 0. 21% (p < 0.05).

CONCLUSION:

Acute PE in a tertiary care hospital is more frequent than previously reported among short-term hospitals. Occasionally, young adults and adolescents had PE, although PE occurred primarily among middle-aged and elderly patients. Among patients >/= 50 years of age, the incidence of PE was higher among women. The incidence was not higher among women < 50 years of age, suggesting that childbirth and birth control pills had little impact. Only a trivial difference of the incidence of PE was observed among African Americans compared to whites.

PMID:
10531152
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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