Women more likely to have poorer outcomes following aortic surgery

Washington: A new study now finds that women fare worse than men following aortic heart surgery.

The research saw women examining three different outcomes: early death, stroke and a composite of complications – cases where women were more likely to be sicker.

The study, published in February 2019’s sex-themed issue of Circulation, found if you’re a woman, you’re twice as likely to experience a stroke or death following surgery.

The study found that women are 80 per cent more likely to die, 90 per cent more likely to experience a stroke, and 40 per cent more likely to experience a complication.

Speaking about the study, lead author of the study Dr. Jennifer Chung said, “We controlled for patients’ age, weight, pre-operative health, co-morbidities, and when we took all of that into consideration, going into aortic arch surgery, you’re slightly less than twice as likely to die if you’re a woman.”

The paper’s senior investigator Dr. Michael Chu added these findings are consistent with their recent findings in cardiovascular medicine that also suggest women experience worse outcomes.

“Historically, this issue has not been well addressed,” Dr. Chu said, adding, “Sex-specific considerations are paramount in cardiovascular medicine, and we investigated this in the largest study to-date, looking at outcomes after thoracic aortic surgery.”

The experts found that between men and women, when people came for elective versus emergency surgery – women still did worse either way.

An aortic dissection is an emergency, and can initially present like a heart attack or a stroke. Symptoms include sudden chest pain, dizziness, nausea and challenges walking and speaking.

Dr. Chung stresses this study should prompt further research that will help clinicians figure out why women are suffering from poorer outcomes than men.

She added, “We have discovered an unfortunate phenomenon that will hopefully lead us down a path of more personalised medicine.”