Summary: Although socioeconomic disparities in outcomes of peripheral artery disease (PAD) have been well studied, little is known about relationship between severity of PAD and socioeconomic status. The objective of this study was to examine this relationship.
Patients who had operations for severe PAD (rest pain or tissue loss) were identified in the National Inpatient Sample, 2005–2014. They were stratified by the median household income (MHI) quartiles of their residential ZIP codes. Other characteristics such as race/ethnicity and insurance type were extracted. Factors associated with more severe disease (tissue loss) were evaluated using multivariable regression analyses.
Findings: There were 765,175 patients identified; 34% in the first MHI quartile and 18% in the fourth MHI quartile. Compared to patients in the first quartile, those in the fourth quartile were more likely white (69% vs. 42%), more likely ≥65 years old, and were less likely to undergo amputations. After adjusting for patient characteristics, the fourth quartile was associated with more severe disease compared to the first quartile.
While higher MHI was associated with higher PAD severity, patients with high MHI were less likely to undergo amputations indicating a disparity in the choice of treatment for PAD. Increased efforts are necessary to reduce socioeconomic disparities in the treatment of severe PAD.
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