Racial differences in 30-day mortality for pulmonary embolism

Am J Public Health. 2006 Dec;96(12):2161-4. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2005.078618. Epub 2006 Oct 31.


Objectives: Previous studies reported a higher incidence of in-hospital mortality for Black patients who had pulmonary embolism than for White patients. We used a large statewide database to compare 30-day mortality (defined as death within 30 days from the date of latest hospital admission) for Black and White patients who were hospitalized because of pulmonary embolism.

Methods: The study cohort consisted of 15531 discharged patients who had been treated for pulmonary embolism at 186 Pennsylvania hospitals between January 2000 and November 2002. We used random-effects logistic regression to model 30-day mortality for Black and White patients, and adjusted for patient demographic and clinical characteristics.

Results: The unadjusted 30-day mortality rates were 9.0% for White patients, 10.3% for Blacks, and 10.9% for patients of other or unknown race. When adjusted for severity of disease using a validated clinical prognostic model for pulmonary embolism, Black patients had 30% higher odds of 30-day mortality compared with White patients at the same site (adjusted odds ratio = 1.3; 95% confidence interval, 1.1,1.6). Neither insurance status nor hospital volume was a significant predictor of 30-day mortality.

Conclusion: Black patients who had pulmonary embolism had significantly higher odds of 30-day mortality compared with White patients.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Black or African American / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Databases as Topic
  • Female
  • Hospitalization*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Pennsylvania / epidemiology
  • Pulmonary Embolism / ethnology*
  • Pulmonary Embolism / mortality*
  • Risk Adjustment
  • Risk Assessment*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Survival Analysis
  • Time Factors
  • White People / statistics & numerical data*