Impact of cardiovascular risk factors on the clinical presentation and survival of pulmonary embolism without identifiable risk factor
Rodríguez Núñez, Nuria; Ruano-Ravina, A.; Lama, A.; Ferreiro Fernández, Lucía; Ricoy Gabaldón, Jorge; Alvarez Dobaño, Jose Manuel; Suárez Antelo, Juan; Toubes Navarro, Maria Elena; Rábade Castedo, Carlos; Golpe Gómez, Antonio; Lourido Cebreiro, Tamara; González Barcala, Francisco Javier; Valdés Cuadrado, Luis
Files view or download
Files view or download
Journal of thoracic disease
Type of content
Background: The nature of pulmonary embolism (PE) without identifiable risk factor (IRF) remains unclear. The objective of this study is to investigate the potential relationship between cardiovascular risk factors (CVRFs) and PE without IRF (unprovoked) and assess their role as markers of disease severity and prognosis. Methods: A case-control study was performed of patients with PE admitted to our hospital [2010-2019]. Subjects with PE without IRF were included in the cohort of cases, whereas patients with PE with IRF were allocated to the control group. Variables of interest included age, active smoking, obesity, and diagnosis of arterial hypertension, dyslipidemia or diabetes mellitus. Results: A total of 1,166 patients were included in the study, of whom 64.2% had PE without IRF. The risk for PE without IRF increased with age [odds ratio (OR): 2.68; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.95-3.68], arterial hypertension (OR: 1.63; 95% CI: 1.27-2.07), and dyslipidemia (OR: 1.63; 95% CI: 1.24-2.15). The risk for PE without IRF was higher as the number of CVRF increased, being 3.99 (95% CI: 2.02-7.90) for subjects with >/=3 CVRF. The percentage of high-risk unprovoked PE increased significantly as the number of CVRF rose [0.6% for no CVRF; 23.8% for a CRF, P<0.001 (OR: 9.92; 95% CI: 2.82-34.9); 37.5% for two CRFs, P<0.001 (OR: 14.8; 95% CI: 4.25-51.85); and 38.1% for >/=3, P<0.001 (OR: 14.1; 95% CI: 4.06-49.4)]. No significant differences were observed in 1-month survival between cases and controls, whereas differences in 24-month survival reached significance. Conclusions: A relationship was observed between CVRF and PE without IRF, as the risk for unprovoked PE increased with the number of CVRF. In addition, the number of CVRF was associated with PE without IRF severity, but not with prognosis.