Aortic Valve Replacement Rates in Australia from 2004 to 2019

Intern Med J. 2021 Nov 15. doi: 10.1111/imj.15624. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Background: Several surgical and percutaneous treatments are available for patients with aortic valve disease.

Aim: Our aim is to establish whether trends in aortic valve replacements (AVR) in Australia reflect recent evidence.

Methods: Using Australian Institute of Health and Welfare data, this study counted all AVR and balloon aortic valvuloplasty (BAV) procedures conducted in all Australian hospitals from 2004 to 2019. Linear regression analysis was performed to determine whether age-adjusted rates had changed over the study period.

Results: There were 80,883 AVRs performed. 66% were men and 64% were over aged 70. Absolute rates of AVR increased from 3,631 to 7,277 with a significant 22% age-adjusted rise seen (1.9% increase per year (+0.26 per 100,000 per year, 95% CI 0.19 - 0.34); p < 0.001). This trend was more pronounced in men than women and in over 80 year-olds (+0.23 per 100,000 per year, p < 0.001). Proportion of mechanical AVRs implanted fell from 38.4% to 8.6% (p<0.001). 2,683 transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) procedures were performed in 2019, representing a 52% annual increase from 2014. BAV increased from 66 procedures in 2004 to 862 in 2019.

Conclusion: Rates of AVR have increased significantly over the past 16 years, particularly in the elderly. Despite international guideline recommendations, fewer mechanical AVRs are being used in younger cohorts. The uptake in TAVI rates might reflect evidence that suggests it is a safe alternative, at least in the medium term. BAV has also seen a resurgence during this time period. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.