Epidemiology of pulmonary embolism in Apulia from analysis of current data

Monaldi Arch Chest Dis. 2010 Mar;73(1):18-24. doi: 10.4081/monaldi.2010.309.


Background and aims: Pulmonary embolism (PE) is a relatively common cardiovascular emergency: present evidence suggests that PE is the third most acute cardiovascular disease after cardiac ischemic syndromes and stroke. The aim of this study is to evaluate hospital admissions for PE in the Apulia Region of Italy in the period 2001-2007 through an analysis of the Apulia Region hospital patient discharge database.

Methods: Patients were selected on the basis of admissions between 01/01/2001 and 31/12/2007 with ICD-9-CM code of 415.11 (Iatrogenic pulmonary embolism and infarction) or 415.19 (Other pulmonary embolism and infarction) as principal or secondary diagnosis.

Results: The number of patients selected from the database was 4,303. The raw annual admission data shows an increasing trend from 13.9x100,000 residents in 2001 to 18.9 x 100,000 residents in 2007. The average patient age was 68.7 years and 59% were females and 41%. There were 470 deaths in hospital (10.9% of patients).

Conclusions: PE is associated with much health care and a substantial economic burden, yet many PE and general venous thromboembolism (VTE) events are preventable. It remains the responsibility of individual hospitals to identify specific areas in which they can improve their VTE prophylaxis rates to obtain positive results from the reporting initiatives and incentive programs.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Hospital Mortality*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pulmonary Embolism / mortality*
  • Sex Distribution
  • Young Adult