Long-term cardiovascular and noncardiovascular mortality of 1023 patients with confirmed acute pulmonary embolism

Austin Chin Chwan Ng, Tommy Chung, Andy Sze Chiang Yong, Helen Siu Ping Wong, David Stephen Celermajer, Leonard Kritharides*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Citations (Scopus)


Background-There are currently no guidelines advising long-term surveillance of patients following an acute pulmonary embolism (PE), because long-term outcome studies are rare. We investigated the long-term cardiovascular and all-cause mortality of a large patient cohort with confirmed PE in relation to baseline cardiovascular disease (CVD). Methods and Results-Clinical details of all patients presenting with acute PE to a tertiary hospital were retrieved from medical records, and their survival tracked from a statewide death registry. There were 1023 (45% males) patients admitted with confirmed PE from 2000 to 2007. During a mean follow-up of 3.8±2.6 years, 363 patients died (35.5%), of whom only 31 (3.0%) died in-hospital during the index PE admission. The 3-month, 6-month, 1-year, 3-year, and 5-year cumulative mortality rates were 8.3%, 11.1%, 16.3%, 26.7%, and 31.6% respectively. Annual mortality did not improve over the 7-year period. The postdischarge mortality of 8.5%/patient-year was 2.5-fold that of an age- and sex-matched general population, being 12.6-fold in the youngest quintile (-55 years) and 1.9-fold in the oldest quintile (-83 years). Patients with known CVD at baseline had 2.2-fold greater all-cause mortality than those without CVD, and this effect, although at a lower level of risk, remained significant after multivariate analysis. Of the 332 deaths occurring postdischarge, 40% were attributed to cardiovascular causes. Conclusions-In a contemporary adult population, PE is associated with a substantially increased long-term mortality, of which nearly half is cardiovascular. Our study highlights the urgent need to develop long-term surveillance strategies in this population. (Circ Cardiovasc Qual Outcomes. 2011;4:122-128.) thrombosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-128
Number of pages7
JournalCirculation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Pulmonary embolism-long-term-mortality-predictors-cardiovascular-heart disease


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