The Center for Vein Restoration Study on presenting symptoms, treatment modalities, and outcomes in Medicare-eligible patients with chronic venous disorders

Peter J Pappas, Sanjiv Lakhanpal, Khanh Q Nguyen, Rohan Vanjara
Journal of Vascular Surgery. Venous and Lymphatic Disorders 2018, 6 (1): 13-24

BACKGROUND: Chronic venous disorders (CVDs) have been estimated to affect up to 20 million Americans. Despite this huge prevalence, the signs, symptoms, and treatment outcomes in patients 65 years of age and older are not well defined. Our goal was to determine the presentation and treatment outcomes in elderly patients compared with a cohort of patients younger than 65 years.

METHODS: From January 2015 to December 2016, we retrospectively reviewed prospectively collected data from 38,750 patients with CVD from the Center for Vein Restoration's electronic medical record (NextGen Healthcare Information Systems, Irvine, Calif). We divided patients into two groups; group A patients were younger than 65 years, and group B patients were 65 years of age or older. Medical and surgical history, presenting symptoms, treatment modalities, and revised Venous Clinical Severity Score before and after intervention were evaluated. A multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to determine the predictive value of presenting and associated symptoms. Groups A and B were subdivided by Clinical, Etiology, Anatomy, and Pathophysiology class for subgroup analysis. Data were analyzed with GraphPad Prism (GraphPad Software Inc, La Jolla, Calif) or SAS version 9.4 statistical software package (SAS Institute, Cary, NC).

RESULTS: There were 27,536 patients in group A and 11,214 in group B. Women constituted 78% of all patients. Group B demonstrated a higher incidence of chronic diseases compared with group A (P ≤ .003). As initial presenting symptoms, pain, heaviness, fatigue, and aching were more common in group A than in group B (61% vs 55%, 30% vs 27%, 27% vs 24%, and 17% vs 12%, respectively; P ≤ .001). Swelling, skin discoloration, and venous ulceration were more common in group B than in group A (29% vs 23%, 12% vs 6%, and 5% vs 2%; P ≤ .001). Ablations were more commonly performed in group B patients with C4 to C6 disease (P ≤ .004). The revised Venous Clinical Severity Scores before and 1 month after intervention were similar between groups. Treatment improvement was statistically significant in both groups (P ≤ .001). Multivariate logistic regression analysis indicated that varices, bleeding, swelling, skin changes, venous ulceration, aching, heaviness, pain, fatigue, cramping, and restless legs were associated with the presence of CVD (P ≤ .001).

CONCLUSIONS: Medicare beneficiaries presented with more chronic diseases and more severe disease. Initial and associated symptoms were highly associated with the presence of CVD. Despite requiring more interventions than patients younger than 65 years, Medicare beneficiaries demonstrated the same degree of clinical improvement. Medicare should not develop coverage policy decisions that prevent access to therapies that alleviate CVD-induced symptoms.

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