Geographic disparities in the burden of ruptured and unruptured abdominal aortic aneurysms

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Abstract

Background:

The province of Saskatchewan presents unique challenges for the care of ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs), including variable access to health care resources and long transportation distances to tertiary vascular care. This study assessed the rates of ruptured and total AAA to determine regional variations within Saskatchewan and ascertain whether there are areas of high AAA prevalence that would possibly benefit from the implementation of a targeted screening program.

Methods:

All diagnoses of AAA from 2001 to 2012 in the province of Saskatchewan were reviewed, with patients grouped by health region of residence. Diagnoses of ruptured and unruptured AAAs were obtained from the Saskatchewan Discharge Abstracts Database, Medical Services Billings Claims data, and Vital Statistics data.

Results:

During the study period, 6163 AAAs were diagnosed. The provincial age-adjusted rate of AAA was 53.0/100,000 person-years (95% confidence interval, 48.8-57.6). The highest age-adjusted rate of AAA was found in the Five Hills Health Region (FHHR), at 63.1/100,000 person-years (95% confidence interval, 57.6-69.0), which was significantly higher than the provincial average (P< .05). The rate of ruptured AAA in FHHR was nearly twofold higher than the provincial average (6.0 vs 2.9/100,000 person-years, respectively).

Conclusions:

There are significant geographic variations in the prevalence of AAA in the province of Saskatchewan, with the highest rate of AAA found in the FHHR.

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