Racial and ethnic disparities in the treatment of unruptured thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms in the United States

Dean J. Arnaoutakis, Brandon W. Propper, James H. Black, Eric B. Schneider, Ying Wei Lum, Julie A. Freischlag, Bruce A. Perler, Christopher J. Abularrage*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Purpose: Previous studies have found increased mortality in minority patients undergoing abdominal aortic aneurysm repair. The goal of this study was to identify racial and ethnic disparities in patients undergoing thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm repair. Materials and methods: We queried the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (2005-2009) using International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification codes for repair of unruptured thoracoabdominal aneurysms. The primary outcome was death. Secondary outcomes included postoperative complications. We performed multivariate analysis adjusting for age, gender, race, comorbidities (Charlson index), insurance type, and surgeon and hospital operative volumes and characteristics. Results: Overall, 1541 white, 207 black, and 117 Hispanic patients underwent thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm repair. White patients tended to be older (P = 0.003), whereas black patients had a higher incidence of diabetes mellitus (P = 0.04). Black and Hispanic patients were less likely to have an elective admission (P < 0.001) and more likely to have repair performed at a hospital with a lower average annual surgical volume (P = 0.04). Postoperative complications were similar among the groups (P = 0.31). On multivariate analysis, increased mortality was independently associated with Hispanic ethnicity (relative ratio [RR], 2.57; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.25-5.25; P = 0.01), cerebrovascular disease (RR, 1.88; 95% CI, 1.10-3.23; P = 0.02), and age (RR, 1.04; 95% CI, 1.01-1.07; P = 0.004). Conclusions: Hispanic ethnicity is independently associated with increased mortality after repair of unruptured thoracoabdominal aneurysms. This finding was independent of preoperative comorbidities, postoperative complications, and surgeon and hospital operative volumes. Further studies are necessary to determine whether this mortality difference persists after the index hospitalization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)651-657
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Ethnicity
  • Outcomes
  • Race
  • Thoracoabdominal aneurysm


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