Pulmonary embolism (PE) is a life threatening preventable medical condition involving sudden occlusion of arteries within the lungs. Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an inflammatory disorder and therefore independently poses a risk of PE. We aimed to determine the association of SLE and PE using National Hospital Discharge Survey data, a national representative sample of hospital discharges throughout the United States.
Retrospective population-based analysis was done using National Hospital Discharge Survey data for the period 2001 to 2010. International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD-9) coding was used to identify SLE (ICD-9 code 710.0) and PE (ICD-9 codes 415.11, 415.12, 415.13, and 415.19) mentioned in any of the discharge diagnosis. Patients 15 years or older were included in the study. Regression analysis was done including hyperlipidemia, heart failure, lower-limb injury or surgery, hypertension, diabetes cerebrovascular disease, and cancer.
Our regression analysis demonstrated a significant association between SLE and PE, which was independent of sex, race, age, and associated comorbidities (odds ratio [OR], 2.0; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.99–2.16). Of included comorbidities, primary hypercoagulable disorder has the highest odds of association with PE (OR, 15.37; 95% CI, 15.22–15.51) followed by African American race compared with whites (OR, 1.08, 95% 1.08–1.09), and presence of at least 1 of the comorbidities (OR, 1.06; 95% CI, 1.06–1.06). African American SLE cases have the higher prevalence of PE in all age groups, with the exception of persons 35 to 44 years old.
Significant association exists between SLE and PE regardless of sex, race, age, and associated comorbidities. Females had an overall higher prevalence of SLE-related PE (1.67%) compared with males (1.29%). Stratified according to sex, race, and age groups, the association is highest for females, blacks, and age group 35 to 44 years, respectively.