Patients from distressed communities are more likely to be symptomatic at endovascular aneurysm repair and have an increased risk of being lost to long-term follow-up

John F. Radtka, Ahsan Zil-E-Ali, Daniela Medina, Faisal Aziz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Endovascular aortic aneurysm repair (EVAR) has become the preferred modality to repair abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs). However, the effect of the distressed communities index (DCI) on the outcomes of EVAR is still unknown. In the present study, we investigated the effect of DCI on the postoperative outcomes after EVAR. Methods: The Society for Vascular Surgery Vascular Quality Initiative database was used for the present study. Patients who had undergone EVAR from 2003 to 2021 were selected for analysis. The study cohort was divided into two groups according to their DCI score. Patients with DCI scores ranging from 61 to 100 were assigned to group I (DCI >60), and those with DCI scores ranging from 0 to 60 were assigned to group II (DCI ≤60). The primary outcomes included the 30-day and 1-year mortality and major adverse cardiovascular events at 30 days. Regression analyses were performed to study the postoperative outcomes. P values ≤ .05 were deemed statistically significant for all analyses in the present study. Results: A total of 60,972 patients (19.5% female; 80.5% male) had undergone EVAR from 2003 to 2021. Of these patients, 18,549 were in group I (30.4%) and 42,423 in group II (69.6%). The mean age of the study cohort was 73 ± 8.9 years. Group I tended to be younger (mean age, 72.6 vs 73.7 years), underweight (3.5% vs 2.5%), and African American (10.8% vs 3.5%) and were more likely to have Medicaid insurance (3.6% vs 1.9%; P < .05 for all). Group I had had more smokers (87.3% vs 85.3%), a higher rate of comorbidities, including hypertension (84.5% vs 82.9%), diabetes (21.7% vs 19.7%), coronary artery disease (30.3% vs 28.6%), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (36.9% vs 31.8%), and moderate to severe congestive heart failure (2.6% vs 2%; P < .05 for all). The group I patients were more likely to undergo EVAR for symptomatic AAAs (11.1% vs 7.9%; P < .001; adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.25; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.15-1.37; P < .001) with a higher risk of mortality at 30 days (aOR, 3.98; 95% CI, 2.23-5.44; P < .001) and 1 year (aOR, 1.74; 95% CI, 1.43-2.13; P < .001). A higher risk of being lost to follow-up (28.9% vs 26.3%; P < .001) was also observed in group I. Conclusions: Patients from distressed communities who require EVAR tended to have multiple comorbidities. These patients were also more likely to be treated for symptomatic AAAs, with a higher risk of mortality. An increased incidence of lost to long-term follow-up was also observed for this population. Surgeons and healthcare systems should consider these outcomes and institute patient-centered approaches to ensure equitable healthcare.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1087-1098.e3
JournalJournal of Vascular Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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