Mortality after pulmonary embolism in patients with diabetes. Findings from the RIETE registry

Eur J Intern Med. 2019 Jan:59:46-52. doi: 10.1016/j.ejim.2018.08.001. Epub 2018 Aug 9.


Background: Among patients presenting with pulmonary embolism (PE), those with diabetes are at increased risk to die than those without diabetes. The reasons have not been identified. We used the RIETE (Registro Informatizado Enfermedad Trombo Embólica) database to compare the mortality rate and the causes of death during anticoagulation in patients with PE according to the presence or absence of diabetes.

Methods: A matched retrospective cohort study from consecutively enrolled patients in RIETE, from 179 hospitals in 24 countries. For each patient with diabetes we selected two patients with no diabetes matched by age, sex and year of diagnosis of the PE.

Results: As of September 2017, there were 2010 PE patients with diabetes and two age-and-gender matched controls. Mean age was 74 ± 11 years, 46% were men. Patients with diabetes were more likely to have co-morbidities, to be using antiplatelets and to have more severe PE. During anticoagulation (median, 219 days), patients with diabetes had a higher mortality (hazard ratio [HR]: 1.45; 95% confidence intervals [CI]: 1.25-1.67) and a higher rate of arterial ischemic events (HR: 2.89; 95%CI: 1.71-4.94) than those without diabetes. On multivariable analysis, diabetes was not associated with an increased risk for death (HR: 1.26; 95%CI: 0.97-1.63). We also failed to find differences according to the use of antiplatelet drugs concomitantly.

Conclusions: In our cohort of patients with PE, diabetes was not an independent predictor for death. The influence of arterial events or antiplatelet drugs (if any) was low.

Keywords: Cardiovascular events; Comorbidity; Mortality; Pulmonary embolism; Type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cause of Death
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • International Cooperation
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Pulmonary Embolism / drug therapy*
  • Pulmonary Embolism / mortality*
  • Registries
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors