OBJECTIVE: Previous studies have showed a potential disadvantage of female patients who underwent abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) repair. The current study aims to determine sex-specific perioperative and long-term outcomes using propensity score matched unselected nationwide health insurance claims data.
METHODS: Insurance claims from a large German fund were used, covering around 8% of the insured German population. Patients who underwent endovascular aortic repair (EVAR) for intact AAA from 1 January 2011 to 30 April 2017 were included in the cohort. A 1:2 female to male propensity score matching was applied to adjust for confounding variables. Perioperative and long-term outcomes after 5 years were determined using matching and regression methods.
RESULTS: Among a total of 3736 patients (19.3% females, mean 75 years) undergoing EVAR for intact AAA, we identified 1863 matched patients. Before matching, females were more likely to be previously diagnosed with hypothyroidism, electrolyte disorders, rheumatoid disorders, and depression, while males were more often diabetics. In the matched sample, 23.4% of the females and 25.8% of the males died during a median follow-up of 776 and 792 days, respectively. Perioperatively, females were more likely to exhibit acute limb ischemia (5.3% vs. 3.2%, p = 0.031) and major bleeding (22.0% vs. 15.9%, p = 0.001) before they were discharged to rehabilitation (5.5% vs. 1.5%, p < 0.001) when compared to males. No statistically significant difference in perioperative (odds ratio 1.12, 95% CI 0.54-2.16) or long-term mortality (hazard ratio 0.91, 95% CI 0.76-1.08) was observed between sexes. This was also true regarding aortic reintervention rates after 1 year (2.0% vs. 2.9%) and 5 years (10.9% vs. 8.1%).
CONCLUSION: The current retrospective matched analysis of insurance claims revealed high early access-related morbidity in females when compared to their male counterparts. Short-term or long-term survival and reintervention outcomes were similar between sexes.