Purpose: To assess the rate of diagnosis of deep venous thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and venous thromboembolism; the incidence in hospitalized patients; and mortality from pulmonary embolism among Asians/Pacific Islanders in the United States.
Methods: The number of patients discharged from hospitals with a diagnostic code for pulmonary embolism or deep venous thrombosis from 1990 through 1999 was obtained from the National Hospital Discharge Survey. Population estimates and deaths from pulmonary embolism from 1990 through 1998 were obtained from the United States Bureau of the Census.
Results: Rate ratios of 10-year age-adjusted rates of diagnosis of deep venous thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and venous thromboembolism comparing Asians/Pacific Islanders with whites and African Americans ranged from 0.16 to 0.21. Rate ratios comparing incidences in hospitalized patients ranged from 0.32 to 0.42. The age-adjusted rate ratio of mortality in "others" (which included Asians/Pacific Islanders) was 0.29 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.01 to 0.87) compared with whites and 0.14 (95% CI: 0.0 to 0.58) compared with African Americans.
Conclusion: Rates of deep venous thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and venous thromboembolism; incidences in hospitalized patients; and the mortality rate from pulmonary embolism were markedly lower in Asians/Pacific Islanders than in whites and African Americans. Clinical assessment of the prior probability of venous thromboembolic disease at the bedside should probably be adjusted based on these ethnic differences.