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Persistent disparities, unchanged mortality rates remain issues in acute pulmonary embolism

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Despite advancements in medical care and awareness, the mortality rate associated with acute pulmonary embolism (PE) has remained largely unchanged over the past decade, according to an analysis that also underscores significant disparities in mortality rates based on gender, race, and geographic location.

Utilizing mortality data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Prevention Wide-Ranging Online Data for Epidemiologic Research database, researchers identified a total of 109,992 PE-related deaths across the nation from January 2006 to December 2019. The analysis found that despite advancements in medical care and awareness campaigns, the overall age-adjusted mortality rate (AAMR) per 100,000 population remained virtually unchanged, shifting from 2.84 in 2006 to 2.81 in 2019.

Gender differences persisted, as the AAMR increased among men throughout the study period while remaining relatively stable for women. The AAMR for men showed an average annual percentage increase of 0.7, compared to a decrease of -0.4 for women.

The AAMR for acute PE among Black individuals increased from 5.18 to 5.26, while the rate for White individuals remained largely consistent, shifting from 2.82 to 2.86.

Geographical disparities further underscored the complexity of acute PE mortality. The study revealed that AAMR for PE was notably higher in rural areas compared to micropolitan and large metropolitan areas. The AAMR was recorded at 4.07 for rural areas, 3.24 for micropolitan areas, and 2.32 for large metropolitan areas.

Zghouzi M, Mwansa H, Shore S, et al. Gender, Racial, and Geographic Disparities in Pulmonary Embolism-related Mortality Nationwide. Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2023;doi: 10.1513/AnnalsATS.202302-091OC. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37555732.