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Women Fare Poorly With Aortic Aneurysm: Study
British study says their treatment, compared to men, needs drastic improvement

By Robert Preidt

WEDNESDAY, April 26, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Women with abdominal aortic aneurysms have far worse outcomes than men, and their treatment needs to be dramatically improved, British researchers report.

An abdominal aortic aneurysm occurs when there is weakening and ballooning of the wall of the aorta -- the largest artery which carries blood from the heart through the abdomen to the rest of the body. Patients with the condition are at risk for a potentially life-threatening rupture.

The researchers reviewed international studies conducted since 2000 and found that women with abdominal aorta aneurysm fare worse than men at every stage of treatment. Women are less likely to be offered surgery to repair the problem, including keyhole surgery, which is linked with better outcomes.

The keyhole technique, considered to be minimally invasive, involves inserting a tube-like graft through the leg artery to repair the weakened aorta. "Open" surgery involves going into the abdomen to replace the ballooning section of the aorta with a tube-like graft, according to background notes with the study.

"Our findings show that despite overall improvement in mortality rates for this condition, there is a huge disparity between outcomes for men and women, which is not acceptable," said study leader Janet Powell, surgery and cancer professor at Imperial College London.

"Abdominal aortic aneurysm is still seen as mainly a male condition, and as a result, the way we manage the condition -- from screening to diagnosis and treatment -- has been developed with men in mind. Our study shows that this needs to change," she said in a college news release.

Powell and her colleagues reviewed several studies. Less than one-fifth of men were not offered surgery, compared with one-third of women. Only one-third of women were considered eligible for keyhole surgery, compared with just over half of men, the researchers found.

Death rates 30 days after keyhole surgery were 2.3 percent for women and 1.4 percent for men. Death rates 30 days after open surgery were 5.4 percent for women and 2.8 percent for men, the review found.

The findings were published April 25 in The Lancet.

Women tend to develop aneurysms at an older age than men, and their aortas are smaller. Both factors can affect whether surgery is an option and which type of surgery is suitable, according to the researchers.

However, age and physical fitness are not enough to account for the differences in death rates between men and women, the investigators said.

"The way abdominal aortic aneurysm is managed in women needs urgent improvement. We need to see if the devices used for keyhole surgery can be made more flexible to enable more women to be offered this option. We also need more grafts designed to fit women, who have smaller aortas, as all the grafts currently available have been designed for men," Powell said.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more on abdominal aortic aneurysm.

SOURCE: Imperial College London, news release, April 25, 2017

Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=722042

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
Women
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Aortic Aneurysm
Aorta
Research Personnel
Aortic Aneurysm, Abdominal
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Abdomen
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The list of medical terms above are retrieved automatically from the article.

Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
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