Examination of sex as an independent risk factor for adverse events after carotid endarterectomy

Nancy L. Harthun, Gail L. Kongable, A. J. Baglioni, Timothy D. Meakem, Irving L. Kron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Background: The incidence of adverse events after carotid endarterectomy (CEA) for women compared with men is controversial. This report compares the incidence of perioperative stroke and death in men and women by examining the effect of comorbidities and hospital setting on CEA outcomes. Methods: All CEAs performed in non-Federal acute-care Virginia hospitals between 1997 and 2001 were reviewed. Patient demographics, comorbidities, and hospital characteristics were compared for possible relationships to perioperative adverse events. Results: A total of 14,095 CEAs were performed in 34 urban and 28 rural hospitals (9 high-volume and 53 low-volume hospitals); 42% were performed on women, and 58% were performed on men. Women experienced a significantly higher stroke rate (1.23%) than men (0.87%; P =. 04) with bivariate analysis. However, logistic regression analysis of comorbidities and hospital settings demonstrated that sex was actually not independently related to adverse outcomes in CEA (P =. 08). Preoperative neurologic symptoms could not be evaluated as risk factors for adverse events. Acute coronary ischemia, history of arrhythmia, end-stage renal disease, nonwhite race, advanced age, and low hospital volume were all significantly related to mortality. History of arrhythmia was the only factor that was significantly related to the incidence of stroke. Conclusions: Logistic regression analysis of comorbidities and hospital setting indicated that female sex is not independently associated with higher mortality or a higher stroke rate during CEA. These data indicate that patients with carotid stenosis frequently have multiple medical problems that need to be carefully examined and controlled before any single patient or hospital factor is designated as significantly related to adverse outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-230
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of vascular surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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