Disparities in the management of ectopic pregnancy

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BACKGROUND:Ectopic pregnancy is common among young women. Treatment can consist of either surgery with salpingectomy or salpingostomy or medical management with methotrexate. In addition to acute complications, treatment of ectopic pregnancy can result in long-term sequelae that include decreased fertility. Little is known about the patterns of care and predictors of treatment in women with ectopic pregnancy. Similarly, data on outcomes for various treatments are limited.OBJECTIVE:We examined the patterns of care and outcomes for women with ectopic pregnancy. Specifically, we examined predictors of medical (vs surgical) management of ectopic pregnancy and tubal conservation (salpingostomy vs salpingectomy) among women who underwent surgery.STUDY DESIGN:The Perspective database was used to identify women with a diagnosis of tubal ectopic pregnancy treated from 2006–2015. Perspective is an all-payer database that collects data on patients at hospitals from throughout the United States. Women were classified as having undergone medical treatment, if they received methotrexate, and surgical treatment, if treatment consisted of salpingostomy or salpingectomy. Multivariable models were developed to examine predictors of medical treatment and of tubal conserving salpingostomy among women who were treated surgically.RESULTS:Among the 62,588 women, 49,090 women (78.4%) were treated surgically, and 13,498 women (21.6%) received methotrexate. Use of methotrexate increased from 14.5% in 2006 to 27.3% by 2015 (P<.001). Among women who underwent surgery, salpingostomy decreased over time from 13.0% in 2006 to 6.0% in 2015 (P<.001). Treatment in more recent years, at a teaching hospital and at higher volume centers, were associated with the increased use of methotrexate (P<.05 for all). In contrast, Medicaid recipients (adjusted risk ratio, 0.92; 95% confidence interval, 0.87-0.98) and uninsured women (adjusted risk ratio, 0.87; 95% confidence interval, 0.82-0.93) were less likely to receive methotrexate than commercially insured patients. Among those who underwent surgery, black (adjusted risk ratio, 0.76; 95% confidence interval, 0.69-0.85) and Hispanic (adjusted risk ratio, 0.80; 95% confidence interval, 0.66-0.96) patients were less likely to undergo tubal conserving surgery than white women and Medicaid recipients (adjusted risk ratio, 0.69; 95% confidence interval, 0.64-0.75); uninsured women (adjusted risk ratio, 0.60; 95% confidence interval, 0.55-0.66) less frequently underwent salpingostomy than commercially insured patients.CONCLUSION:There is substantial variation in the management of ectopic pregnancy. There are significant race- and insurance-related disparities associated with treatment.

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