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Peripheral Arterial Surgery Outcomes Worse for Women: Study

MONDAY, Nov. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Women have worse outcomes than men following surgery for peripheral arterial disease (PAD) in their lower extremities, a new study has found.

Researchers reviewed data from 372,692 hospital admissions for PAD surgery in lower extremities conducted from 1998 to 2007 in New Jersey, New York and Florida. Of those hospitalizations, 162,730 (43.6 percent) were women.

The analysis showed that, following surgery, women were more likely than men to die (5.26 percent versus 4.21 percent).

"The most pronounced difference was in cerebrovascular, where women had a 33 percent higher risk of [death] after adjustment for other relevant risk factors. In patients with underlying coronary artery disease, the risk in women was 21 percent higher," Dr. Ageliki G. Vouyouka, a vascular surgeon at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, said in a Society for Vascular Surgery news release.

Women were also more likely to suffer complications. For example, rates of perioperative bleeding were 10.62 percent for women and 8.19 percent for men. When they controlled for other factors, the researchers determined that women were 33 percent more likely to experience perioperative bleeding.

"Whether this is due to anatomic or technical factors in females, such as smaller arteries and use of relatively large devices during procedures, or excessive usage of blood thinners not adjusted to the women's weight and pharmacokinetics, further investigation using primary data collection is warranted on this subject," Vouyouka said.

Overall rates of perioperative infection were 3.23 percent for women and 2.88 percent for men. Women were 21 percent more likely to suffer an infection, calculated the researchers.

The study is published in the November issue of the Journal of Vascular Surgery.

More information

The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has more about peripheral arterial disease.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Society for Vascular Surgery, news release, November 2010

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