Geographical disparities in access to surgical treatment and mortality rates from abdominal aortic aneurysms in Brazil: A retrospective longitudinal study

Vasc Med. 2024 Jun 11:1358863X241253732. doi: 10.1177/1358863X241253732. Online ahead of print.


Introduction: Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a growing public health problem, and not all patients have access to surgery when needed. This study aimed to analyze spatiotemporal variations in AAA mortality and surgical procedures in Brazilian intermediate geographic regions and explore the impact of different surgical techniques on operative mortality.

Methods: A retrospective longitudinal study was conducted to evaluate AAA mortality from 2008 to 2020 using space-time cube (STC) analysis and the emerging hot spot analysis tool through the Getis-Ord Gi* method.

Results: There were 34,255 deaths due to AAA, 13,075 surgeries to repair AAA, and a surgical mortality of 14.92%. STC analysis revealed an increase in AAA mortality rates (trend statistic = +1.7693, p = 0.0769) and a significant reduction in AAA surgery rates (trend statistic = -3.8436, p = 0.0001). Analysis of emerging hotspots revealed high AAA mortality rates in the South, Southeast, and Central-West, with a reduction in procedures in São Paulo and Minas Gerais States (Southeast). In the Northeast, there were extensive areas of increasing mortality rates and decreasing procedure rates (cold spots).

Conclusion: AAA mortality increased in several regions of the country while surgery rates decreased, demonstrating the need for implementing public health policies to increase the availability of surgical procedures, particularly in less developed regions with limited access to services.

Keywords: abdominal aortic aneurysms; endovascular aneurysm repair; mortality; open aneurysm repair; spatiotemporal analysis, geographic variation.