Background: Differences between women and men in treatment and outcome after admission with a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) in England were studied.
Methods: Routinely collected data in Hospital Episode Statistics, linked to death records, for emergency admissions for ruptured AAA in England were analysed. The percentage of patients who underwent surgical repair was calculated, together with 30-day case fatality rates and age-adjusted odds ratios (ORs), comparing women with men.
Results: A total of 2463 women and 7615 men were admitted with a primary diagnosis of ruptured AAA (mean age 79.8 and 74.9 years respectively); 39.6 per cent of women and 66.4 per cent of men underwent surgical repair (OR 0.47 (95 per cent confidence interval 0.42 to 0.52)). Overall, 75.6 per cent of women and 61.7 per cent of men died within 30 days of admission (OR 1.36 (1.22 to 1.52)). The death rate for women and men who had surgery was similar (OR 1.01 (0.88 to 1.17)); when no operation was performed the mortality rate was higher in women, but not significantly so (OR 1.14 (0.91 to 1.42)).
Conclusion: Women with a ruptured AAA were less likely to be treated surgically than men, and their overall mortality rate was higher. Lower rates of surgery in women than in men may contribute to the higher mortality in women, but other explanations are possible.
Copyright (c) 2007 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.