Sex-related trends in mortality after elective abdominal aortic aneurysm surgery between 2002 and 2013 at National Health Service hospitals in England: less benefit for women compared with men

Mital Desai (Corresponding Author), Edward Choke, Robert D. Sayers, Mintu Nath, Matthew J. Bown

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AIMS: To quantify the difference in long-term survival and cardiovascular morbidity between women and men undergoing elective abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) repair at National Health Service hospitals in England.

METHODS AND RESULTS: Patients having elective repair of AAA were reviewed using the Hospital Episode Statistics and Office for National Statistics (ONS) datasets. The primary outcome measure was 30-day mortality and the secondary outcomes were 1-year, 5-year, and aortic-related mortality and post-operative complication rates. We used logistic regression and survival models to assess risk factors on the primary and secondary outcomes. Between 1 April 2002 and 31 March 2013, a total of 31 090 patients (4795 women and 26 295 men) underwent open AAA repair. Between 1 January 2006 and 31 March 2013, a total of 16 777 patients (2036 women and 14 741 men) underwent endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR). All-cause and aortic-related mortalities at 30 days, 1 year, and 5 years were all higher in women, despite a lower prevalence of pre-operative cardiovascular risk factors. Female sex was a significant independent risk factor for 30-day mortality in both open repair [odds ratio (OR) 1.39; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.25-1.56; P < 0.001] and EVAR (OR 1.57; 95% CI 1.23-2.00; P < 0.001) groups. Based on an all-cause long-term survival model, conditional on 30-day survival, the estimated hazard for women in the open repair group was significantly (P = 0.006) higher than men, but the sex difference was not significant in the EVAR group (P = 0.356). In the open repair group, women had significantly (P < 0.001) higher cumulative incidence probabilities for both aortic-related mortality and other-cause mortality. In the EVAR group, women had significantly (P < 0.001) higher mean cumulative incidence probabilities for the aortic-related mortality compared with men, but not for the other-cause mortality (P = 0.235).

CONCLUSION: Women undergoing elective AAA repair at National Health Service hospitals in England had increased short- and long-term mortality and post-operative morbidity compared with men. These findings can be used to improve pre-operative counselling for women undergoing AAA repair, and highlight the need for female-specific pre-, peri-, and post-operative management strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3452-3460
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Heart Journal
Issue number46
Early online date12 Aug 2016
Publication statusPublished - 7 Dec 2016



  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm
  • National Health Service
  • Women
  • England

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