Pulmonary Embolism Confers Higher Mortality Long Term

Walter Alexander

June 30, 2023


Long-term mortality rates among individuals who have had a pulmonary embolism are significantly higher than rates in the general population.


  • Researchers investigated long-term outcomes of patients with pulmonary embolism in a single-center registry.

  • They followed 896 patients for up to 14 years.

  • Data were from consecutive cases treated between May 2005 and  December 2017.


  • The total follow-up time was 3908 patient-years (median, 3.1 years).

  • One-year and five-year mortality rates were 19.7% (95% CI, 17.2% to 22.4%) and 37.1% (95% CI, 33.6% to 40.5%), respectively, for patients with pulmonary embolism.

  • The most frequent causes of death were cancer (28.5%), pulmonary embolism (19.4%), infections (13.9%), and cardiovascular events (11.6%).

  • Late mortality (>30 days) was more frequent than in the general population for patients with cancer (5-year standardized mortality ratio, 2.77; 95% CI, 2.41 – 3.16]) and for patients without cancer (1.80; 95% CI, 1.50 – 2.14), compared with expected rates.


"The mortality risk of pulmonary embolism patients remained elevated compared to the general population throughout the follow-up period," stated Johannes Eckelt, Clinic of Cardiology and Pneumology, University Medical Center Göttingen, Germany.


"Long-term Mortality in Pulmonary Embolism: Results in a Single-Center Registry," J. Eckelt, et al, was accepted for publication in Research and Practice in Thrombosis and Haemostasis I (2023)on May 31, 2003.


Owing to the single-center study design, selection bias cannot be excluded, limiting the generalizability of the study findings, the authors state.


The authors have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

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