ISTH Data from the World Health Organization Mortality Database Reveal Fewer Deaths from Pulmonary Embolism in the European Region over the past 15 years
Nearly 40,000 people still die from this preventable disorder in Europe every year
CHAPEL HILL, North Carolina, Oct. 13, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- In Europe, the mortality related to pulmonary embolism, an acute life-threatening condition characterized by blood clots obstructing the lung arteries, has been cut in half since 2000, according to an analysis of data from the World Health Organization (WHO) Mortality Database published today in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine by an international team of scientists.
From 2000 to 2015, the age-standardized mortality due to pulmonary embolism decreased from about 13 deaths per 100,000 people per year to seven deaths per 100,000 people, among a population of 650 million living in 41 European countries, according to the study funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The study is the first comprehensive analysis of pulmonary embolism-related mortality in Europe.1
Despite these improvements, the study found that the mortality related to pulmonary embolism remains very high in Eastern Europe, and may be exhibiting an increasing trend in some low- and middle-income countries. This is similar to what has been observed for myocardial infarction and stroke, the two more frequent cardiovascular diseases, in prior analysis of the European population.
Pulmonary embolism caused every year an average of almost 40,000 deaths between 2013 and 2015, and represented a more frequent cause of death in younger women (15 to 55 years) than in men of the same age. As for the risk of developing pulmonary embolism, also the risk of dying from pulmonary embolism rose exponentially with age, the study found.2
"As the global population ages, the medical, societal and economic costs related to pulmonary embolisms will grow," says Stefano Barco, lead author of the study and researcher at the Center for Thrombosis and Hemostasis of the University Medical Center Mainz, Germany. "Therefore, efforts to implement large-scale preventive programs and evidence-based therapies must be maintained and expanded. Much remains to be done to diminish the burden of pulmonary embolism among younger women and better understand the reasons of the geographical differences in pulmonary embolism-related mortality."