Difficulty breathing, chest pain, and cough may sound like symptoms of a heart attack; however, new research shows that these are the key symptoms for pulmonary embolism (PE), a potentially fatal blockage in the lung.
Results showed that dyspnea or difficulty breathing, chest pain, and cough were present in 72%, 38%, and 19% of the patients, respectively, and dyspnea was the only presenting symptom in 29%.
Cancer was the most common risk factor present in 27%, followed by prior history of deep vein thrombosis or PE, immobilization, and surgery in 19%, 15%, and 15%, respectively.
This study was presented during CHEST 2012, the annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians, held October 20 – 25, in Atlanta, Georgia.
American College of Chest Physicians