Unprovoked pulmonary embolism in older adults: Incidence and prognosis

Mor Aharoni, Nir Horesh, Ori Rogowski, Anjelika Kremer, Haim Mayan, Dan Justo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-342
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Medical Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2021


  • Incidence
  • Mortality
  • Older adults
  • Survival
  • Unprovoked pulmonary embolism


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