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Emerging trends in nationwide mortality, limb loss, and resource utilization for critical limb ischemia in young adults.

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Recent trends indicate a rise in the incidence of critical limb ischemia (CLI) among younger adults. This study examines trends in CLI hospitalization and outcomes among young adults with peripheral arterial disease (PAD) in the United States.

METHODS: Adult hospitalizations (18-40 years) for PAD/CLI were analyzed from the 2016-2020 nationwide inpatient sample database using ICD-10 codes. Rates were reported per 1000 PAD or 100,000 cardiovascular disease admissions. Outcomes included trends in mortality, major amputations, revascularization, length of hospital stay (LOS), and hospital costs (THC). We used the Jonckheere-Terpstra tests for trend analysis and adjusted costs to the 2020 dollar using the consumer price index.

RESULTS: Approximately 63,045 PAD and 20,455 CLI admissions were analyzed. The mean age of the CLI cohort was 32.7 ± 3 years. The majority (12,907; 63.1 %) were female and white (11,843; 57.9 %). Annual CLI rates showed an uptrend with 3265 hospitalizations (227 per 1000 PAD hospitalizations, 22.7 %) in 2016 to 4474 (252 per 1000 PAD hospitalizations, 25.2 %) in 2020 (Ptrend<0.001), along with an increase in PAD admissions from 14,405 (188 per 100,000, 0.19 %) in 2016 to 17,745 (232 per 100,000, 0.23 %%) in 2020 (Ptrend<0.0001). Annual in-hospital mortality increased from 570 (2.8 %) in 2016 to 803 (3.9 %) in 2020 (Ptrend = 0.001) while amputations increased from 1084 (33.2 %) in 2016 to 1995 (44.6 %) in 2020 (Ptrend<0.001). Mean LOS increased from 5.1 (SD 2.7) days in 2016 to 6.5 (SD 0.9) days in 2020 (Ptrend = 0.002). The mean THC for CLI increased from $50,873 to $69,262 in 2020 (Ptrend<0.001). The endovascular revascularization rates decreased from 11.5 % (525 cases) in 2016 to 10.7 % (635 cases) in 2020 (Ptrend = 0.025). Surgical revascularization rates also increased from 4.9 % (225 cases) in 2016 to 10.4 % (600 cases) in 2020 (Ptrend = 0.041).

CONCLUSION: Hospitalization and outcomes for CLI worsened among young adults during the study period. There is an urgent need to enhance surveillance for risk factors of PAD in this age group.

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