Introduction: The elective repair of abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) may decrease a patient's risk of rupture and confers a significantly lower in-hospital mortality rate than emergency repair. Previous works have shown that AAA rupture rates are higher in women compared to men, and that women have higher associated in-hospital mortality rates. This study was performed to evaluate, currently, to what extent patient gender influences presentation and treatment of AAA and the associated outcomes in the United States.
Methods: The Nationwide Inpatient Sample was used, with pertinent ICD-9 codes, to identify all patient-discharges that occurred with the primary diagnosis of intact (iAAA) or ruptured/dissecting (rAAA) abdominal aortic aneurysms between the years 2001 and 2004. Univariate and multiple logistic regression analyses of variables were performed.
Results: An estimated 220,403 AAA patient-discharges were identified during the study period. 37,016 (17%) patients presented with rAAA. A higher percentage of women with AAA presented with rupture compared to men (21% vs 16%; odds ratio [OR] 1.40, 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.27-1.54). This rupture rate did not significantly change from 2001 to 2004 (P = .85 for trend). For iAAA, women had higher odds of in-hospital mortality than men (OR 1.60; 95% CI, 1.24-2.07). Compared to men, in-hospital mortality rates for women with iAAA were higher for both endovascular (2.1% vs 0.83%, P < .0001) and open repairs (6.1% vs 4.0%, P < .0001). For iAAA, fewer women underwent endovascular repair (32.4% vs 46.7%, P < .0001; O.R. 0.59, 95% CI, 0.52-0.67). For patients who presented with rAAA, women were less likely to undergo surgical intervention compared to men (59% vs 70%, P < .0001). For those that underwent repair, women had higher in-hospital mortality rates than men (43% vs 36%, P < .0001; OR 1.49, 95% CI, 1.16-1.91).
Conclusion: A higher percentage of women currently present with aneurysm rupture. They have higher in-hospital mortality rates for both iAAA and rAAA. This gender difference in the outcomes following repair of abdominal aortic aneurysm has persisted over time, the cause of which is not explained by these or previous data, a fact that warrants further investigation.