Pulmonary Embolism Facts & Fiction

Test your knowledge and understand what is fact and what is fiction when it comes to pulmonary embolism (PE).

Fiction. Even if you are otherwise healthy, certain risk factors increase your chances of having a deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which can lead to a pulmonary embolism. In fact, almost anyone can have a PE—young or old, active or not.

Fiction. It’s true that women who are pregnant, recently gave birth, or are taking oral contraceptives or hormones are at greater risk, but it is men who have an overall higher risk of getting a PE, especially after age 50.

Fiction. PE doesn’t directly cause a heart attack. Most heart attacks are caused by a blockage in the coronary artery, which supplies blood and oxygen to the heart. Only in very rare cases does a PE lead to a heart attack. This might happen because reduced lung function caused by a PE could lead to less oxygen in the circulatory system, including less oxygen for your heart. In fact, it is more common for someone who has had a heart attack to have a high risk of having a PE.

Fact. Any long period of immobility increases your risk for DVT or PE blood clots. But regardless of the cause, if you’ve had a PE, you’re always at risk of having another one. Your risk increases even more after stopping treatment with a blood thinner. Some risk factors may mean you need to continue taking a blood thinner like XARELTO® (rivaroxaban) to reduce your risk of having another PE.

Fiction. Even if you’ve been prescribed medication to treat a pulmonary embolism, you can always learn about the different options and talk to your healthcare professional about whether or not XARELTO® may be right for you.