Women Faring Worse After Surgery?

The inequities of life continue, especially when it comes to women’s health.

A study published in the November issue of the Journal of Vascular Surgery, avers that women have worse outcomes than men following surgery for peripheral arterial disease (PAD) in their lower extremities.

Women’s greater proclivity to complications lead to the higher risk of death.

Reviewing data from 372,692 hospital admissions for PAD surgery in lower extremities conducted from 1998 to 2007 in New Jersey, New York and Florida, where 162,730 (43.6 percent) were women, researchers found 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: rates of perioperative bleeding were 10.62 percent for women and 8.19 percent for men; 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.

Warranted, indeed!

30. November 2010 by Ruth Folger Weiss
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