Differential presentation in acuity and outcomes based on socioeconomic status in patients who undergo thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm repair

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2022 Jun;163(6):1990-1998.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2020.07.073. Epub 2020 Jul 27.


Objectives: Socioeconomic differences can lead to differences in how patients present with surgical conditions. We attempted to determine whether socioeconomic status (SES) affects survival outcomes after thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm (TAAA) repair.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed prospectively collected data from 981 TAAA repairs performed on domestic (noninternational) patients between 2006 and 2016. We excluded patients <18 years old (n = 3), those with no available US home address (n = 114), those not within the race and ethnicity categories assessed (n = 30), and those lost to follow-up (n = 6), leaving 832 repairs for analysis. We derived patient SES by using US Census Bureau data to estimate median household income according to patient home address. Patients were grouped into 3 SES groups: high (n = 283), middle (n = 274), and low (n = 275). Multivariable logistic regression modeling was used to identify predictors of operative mortality. Kaplan-Meier curves and Cox proportional hazards regression were used to analyze the association between SES and survival.

Results: Operative mortality occurred in 9% (n = 76) of patients. Patients of low SES had greater rates of acute symptoms, dissection, and urgent or emergency TAAA repair. However, lower SES was not an independent predictor of operative death. Kaplan-Meier analysis and Cox proportional hazards modeling did not show a significant difference in mid-term survival by SES.

Conclusions: In our TAAA series from a single, high-volume practice, SES differences did not appear to influence operative mortality rates. In addition, SES was not associated with a difference in mid-term survival. Efforts to understand and ameliorate the greater acuity of presentation in patients of low SES appear worthwhile.

Keywords: aorta; aortic aneurysm; health care disparities; socioeconomic status; thoracoabdominal aortic surgery.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Thoracic* / surgery
  • Blood Vessel Prosthesis Implantation* / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Class
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome