Gender-associated findings in postmortem examinations of elderly patients: An increased rate of pulmonary embolism in women

Arthur Leibovitz, Ofer Blumenfeld, Rephael Segal, Emily Lubart, Yehuda Baumoehl, Beni Habot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: While age at death is on the rise, the number of postmortem examinations is declining and is disproportionately low among the elderly population. Research on the subject of gender-associated pathology in the elderly is also scarce. Objective: To seek eventual gender-related differences in autopsies of elderly patients. Methods: We analyzed the data extracted from a published report on 93 PMEs performed at a geriatric hospital during the past 20 years. Results: Ninety-three autopsies, representing 1.2% of the 8,101 deaths during these 20 years, were performed. Forty-five of the deceased were women and 48 were men. The incidence of pulmonary embolism was significantly higher in women (28%) than in men (10%) (P < 0.02). There was no significant difference in the gender distribution of the other diagnoses. Conclusion: Gender distribution of PME-based causes of death in elderly patients revealed a significant rate of pulmonary embolism in women. A thorough search of the medical literature revealed two previous studies with similar findings. Further research will determine whether pulmonary embolism is more frequent or whether it has a worse prognosis in frail elderly women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)340-342
Number of pages3
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Volume5
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 May 2003

Keywords

  • Elderly women
  • Gender association
  • Postmortem examination
  • Pulmonary embolism

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