Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a moderate risk factor for venous thromboembolism (VTE), but neither the clinical presentation nor the outcome of VTE in COPD patients is well known.The clinical presentation of VTE, namely pulmonary embolism (PE) or deep venous thrombosis (DVT), and the outcome at 3 months (death, recurrent VTE or bleeding) were compared between 2,984 COPD patients and 25,936 non-COPD patients included in the RIETE (Registro Informatizado de la Enfermedad TromboEmbólica) registry. This ongoing international, multi-centre registry includes patients with proven symptomatic PE or DVT.PE was the more frequent VTE presentation in COPD patients (n=1,761, 59%). PE presentation was more significantly associated with COPD patients than non-COPD patients (OR 1.64, 95% CI 1.49–1.80). During the 3-month follow-up, mortality (10.8% versus 7.6%), minor bleeding (4.5% versus 2.3%) or first VTE recurrences as PE (1.5% versus 1.1%) were significantly higher in COPD patients than in non-COPD patients. PE was the most common cause of death.COPD patients presented more frequently with PE than DVT. It may explain the worse prognosis of COPD patients, with a higher risk of death, bleeding or VTE recurrences as PE compared with non-COPD patients. Further therapeutic options are needed.