A decade of change in abdominal aortic aneurysm repair in the United States: Have we improved outcomes equally between men and women?

Ellen D Dillavou, Satish C Muluk, Michel S Makaroun
Journal of Vascular Surgery 2006, 43 (2): 230-8; discussion 238

OBJECTIVES: Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) repair has undergone vast changes in the last decade. We reviewed a national database to evaluate the effect on utilization of services and rupture rates.

METHODS: From the Centers for Medicare Services (CMS), a 5% inpatient sample was obtained for 1994 to 2003 as beneficiary encrypted files (5% BEF) and as a limited data set file after 2001. Files were translated into Microsoft Access by using a custom program. Queries were performed using International Classification of Diseases (9th Revision) (ICD-9) diagnosis codes 441.3 (ruptured AAA) or 441.4 (non-ruptured AAA) and ICD-9 procedure codes 38.34, 38.36, 38.44, 38.64, 39.25, 39.52 for open, and 39.71 (available after October 2000) for endovascular repair. The 5% BEF totals were multiplied by 20 to calculate yearly volumes. Total cases were divided into the yearly CMS population of elderly Medicare recipients for repair rates per capita and are reported as cases per 100,000 elderly Medicare recipients. Statistics were performed using chi2, Student's t test, nonparametric tests, and multiple regression analysis; P < or = .05 was considered significant.

RESULTS: Elective AAA repairs declined from 94.4/100,000 in 1994 to 87.7/100,000 in 2003. AAA rupture surgery declined from 18.7/100,000 (1994) to 13.6/100,000 (2003). Rupture repairs from 1994 to 2003 decreased by 29% for men and by 12% for women (P < .001). Rupture mortality has not changed, but the average is significantly higher for women at 52.8%, with men averaging 44.2% (P < .001). Mortality for elective AAA repair has decreased from 5.57% (1994) to 3.20% (2003) in men (P < .001) and from 7.48% (1994) to 5.45% (2003) in women (P < .001). Multivariate analysis demonstrated increasing age, female sex, and open surgery (vs endovascular) were significant predictors of elective and ruptured AAA repair mortality. For 2003 elective AAA repairs, the average length of stay was 6.9 days in men and 8.9 days in women (P < .01) For 2003, men were more likely to be discharged to home after rupture (32.9% of men vs 23.3% of women; P < .001) and elective repair (84.5% of men vs 70.1% of women; P < .001).

CONCLUSIONS: Improvements in AAA management in the last decade have decreased aneurysm-related deaths and reduced the incidence of aneurysm ruptures, with a lower utilization of services. Women, however, continue to have a consistently higher mortality for open and ruptured AAA repair and are less likely to return to home after either.

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