Publications by authors named "John A Rizzo"

121 Publications

Root Dilatation Is More Malignant Than Ascending Aortic Dilation.

J Am Heart Assoc 2021 Jul 9;10(14):e020645. Epub 2021 Jul 9.

Aortic Institute at Yale-New Haven Hospital Yale University School of Medicine New Haven CT.

Background Data from the International Registry of Acute Aortic Dissection indicate that the guideline criterion of 5.5 cm for ascending aortic intervention misses many dissections occurring at smaller dimensions. Furthermore, studies of natural behavior have generally treated the aortic root and the ascending aorta as 1 unit despite embryological, anatomical, and functional differences. This study aims to disentangle the natural histories of the aforementioned aortic segments, allowing natural behavior to define specific intervention criteria for root and ascending segments of the aorta. Methods and Results Diameters of the aortic root and mid-ascending segment were measured separately. Long-term complications (dissection, rupture, and death) were analyzed retrospectively for 1162 patients with ascending thoracic aortic aneurysm. Cox regression analysis suggested that aortic root dilatation (=0.017) is more significant in predicting adverse events than mid-ascending aortic dilatation (=0.087). Short stature posed as a serious risk factor. The dedicated risk curves for the aortic root and the mid-ascending aorta revealed hinge points at 5.0 and 5.25 cm, respectively. Conclusions The natural histories of the aortic root and mid-ascending aorta are uniquely different. Dilation of the aortic root imparts a significant higher risk of adverse events. A diameter shift for intervention to 5.0 cm for the aortic root and to 5.25 cm for the mid-ascending aorta should be considered at expert centers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/JAHA.120.020645DOI Listing
July 2021

Accuracy of the "Thumb-Palm Test" for Detection of Ascending Aortic Aneurysm.

Am J Cardiol 2021 07 18;150:114-116. Epub 2021 May 18.

Aortic Institute at Yale-New Haven Hospital, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut. Electronic address:

We have noticed, in caring for thousands of patients with ascending aortic aneurysm (AscAA), that the "thumb palm test" is often positive (with the thumb crossing beyond the edge of the palm). It is not known how accurate this test may be. We conducted the thumb-palm test in 305 patients undergoing cardiac surgery with intra-operative transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) for a variety of disorders: ascending aneurysm in 59 (19.4%) and non-AscAA disease in 246 (80.6%) (including CABG, valve repair, and descending aortic aneurysm). The TEE provided a precise ascending aortic diameter. The thumb palm test gave us a discrete, binary positive or negative result. We calculated the accuracy (sensitivity and specificity) of the thumb palm test in determining presence or absence of AscAA (defined as ascending aortic diameter > 3.8cm). Maximal ascending aortic diameters ranged from 2.0 to 6.6 cm (mean 3.48). 93 patients (30.6%) were classified as having an AscAA and 212 (69.4%) as not having an AscAA. 10 patients (3.3%) had a positive thumb-palm test and 295 patients (96.7%) did not. Sensitivity of the test (proportion of diseased patients correctly classified) was low (7.5%), but specificity (proportion of non-diseased patients correctly classified) was very high (98.5%). This study supports the utility of the thumb-palm test in evaluation for ascending thoracic aortic aneurysm. That is to say, a positive test implies a substantial likelihood of harboring an ascending aortic aneurysm. A negative test does not exclude an aneurysm. In other words, the majority of aneurysm patients do not manifest a positive thumb-palm sign, but patients who do have a positive sign have a very high likelihood of harboring an ascending aneurysm. We suggest that the thumb-palm test be part of the standard physical examination, especially in patients with suspicion of ascending aortic aneurysm (e.g. those with a positive family history).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amjcard.2021.03.041DOI Listing
July 2021

Is Aortic Z-score an Appropriate Index of Beneficial Drug Effect in Clinical Trials in Aortic Aneurysm Disease?

Am J Cardiol 2021 03 9;143:145-153. Epub 2021 Jan 9.

Aortic Institute at Yale-New Haven Hospital, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut. Electronic address:

Aortic Z-score (Z-score) is utilized in clinical trials to monitor the effect of medications on aortic dilation rate in Marfan (MFS) patients. Z-scores are reported in relation to body surface area and therefore are a function of height and weight. However, an information void exists regarding natural, non-pharmacological changes in Z-scores as children age. We had concerns that Z-score decrease attributed to "therapeutic" effects of investigational drugs for Marfan disease connective tissue diseases might simply reflect normal changes ("filling out" of body contour) as children age. This investigation studies natural changes with age in Z-score in normal and untreated MFS children, teasing out normal effects that might erroneously be attributed to drug benefit. (1) We first compared body mass index (BMI) and Z-scores (Boston Children's Hospital calculator) in 361 children with "normal" single echo exams in four age ranges (0 to 1, 5 to 7, 10 to 12, 15 to 18 years). Regression analysis revealed that aging itself decreases ascending Z-score, but not root Z-score, and that increase in BMI with aging underlies the decreased Z-scores. (2) Next, we examined Z-score findings in both "normal" and Marfan children (all pharmacologically untreated) as determined on sequential echo exams over time. Of 27 children without aortic disease with sequential echos, 19 (70%) showed a natural decrease in root Z-score and 24 (89%) showed a natural decrease in ascending Z- score, over time. Of 25 untreated MFS children with sequential echos, 12 (40%) showed a natural decrease in root Z-score and 10 (33%) showed a natural decrease in ascending Z-score. Thus, Z-score is over time affected by natural factors even in the absence of any aneurysmal pathology or medical intervention. Specifically, Z-score decreases spontaneously as a natural phenomenon as children age and with fill out their BMI. Untreated Marfan patients often showed a spontaneous decrease in Z-score. In clinical drug trials in aneurysm disease, decreasing Z-score has been interpreted as a sign of beneficial drug effect. These data put such conclusions into doubt.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amjcard.2020.12.025DOI Listing
March 2021

Increased Virulence of Descending Thoracic and Thoracoabdominal Aortic Aneurysms in Women.

Ann Thorac Surg 2021 07 17;112(1):45-52. Epub 2020 Oct 17.

Aortic Institute at Yale-New Haven Hospital, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut. Electronic address:

Background: This study evaluates sex differences in the natural history of descending thoracic and thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms (DTTAAs).

Methods: In all, 907 patients with descending thoracic and thoracoabdominal aortic sizes greater than 3 cm were retrospectively reviewed. Growth rate estimates were performed utilizing an instrumental variables approach. Yearly complication rates as a function of aortic size were computed.

Results: There were 615 men (67.8%) and 292 women (32.2%) treated between 1990 and 2018, with mean aortic diameters of 4.1 ± 1.4 cm and 4.8 ± 1.6 cm, respectively (P < .001). The mean growth rate of DTTAAs was 0.17 cm per year in men and 0.25 cm per year in women (P < .001), increasing with increasing aneurysm size. Dissection, rupture, or aortic death or the combination of the three occurred at double the rate for women compared with men (5.8% vs 2.3% per year for the combined endpoint). Diameter of DTTAA greater than 5 cm was associated with 26.3% (male) and 33.1% (female) average yearly rates of the composite endpoint of rupture, dissection, and death (P < .05). The probability of fatal complications (rupture and death) increased sharply at 5.75 cm in both sexes. Between 4.5 and 5.75 cm, there was another hinge-point of higher probability of fatal complications among women.

Conclusions: Women diagnosed with DTTAA fare worse. Faster aneurysm growth and higher rates of dissection, rupture, and aortic death are apparent among women. Current guidelines recommend surgical intervention at 5.5 to 6 cm for DTTAAs without sex considerations. Our findings suggest that increased virulence of DTTAA in women may indicate surgery at a somewhat smaller diameter.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.athoracsur.2020.08.026DOI Listing
July 2021

Intravascular Microaxial Left Ventricular Assist Device vs Intra-aortic Balloon Pump for Cardiogenic Shock.

JAMA 2020 07;324(3):303

Department of Health Policy and Management, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, Connecticut.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jama.2020.7551DOI Listing
July 2020

Natural history of descending thoracic and thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms.

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2021 02 11;161(2):498-511.e1. Epub 2019 Nov 11.

Aortic Institute at Yale-New Haven Hospital, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn. Electronic address:

Objectives: Elucidating critical aortic diameters at which natural complications (rupture, dissection, and death) occur is of paramount importance to guide timely surgical intervention. Natural history knowledge for descending thoracic and thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms is sparse. Our small early studies recommended repairing descending thoracic and thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms before a critical diameter of 7.0 cm. We focus exclusively on a large number of descending thoracic and thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms followed over time, enabling a more detailed analysis with greater granularity across aortic sizes.

Methods: Aortic diameters and long-term complications of 907 patients with descending thoracic and thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms were reviewed. Growth rates (instrumental variables approach), yearly complication rates, 5-year event-free survival (Kaplan-Meier), and risk of complications as a function of aortic height index (aortic diameter [centimeters]/height [meters]) (competing-risks regression) were calculated.

Results: Estimated mean growth rate of descending thoracic and thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms was 0.19 cm/year, increasing with increasing aortic size. Median size at acute type B dissection was 4.1 cm. Some 80% of dissections occurred below 5 cm, whereas 93% of ruptures occurred above 5 cm. Descending thoracic and thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm diameter 6 cm or greater was associated with a 19% yearly rate of rupture, dissection, or death. Five-year complication-free survival progressively decreased with increasing aortic height index. Hazard of complications showed a 6-fold increase at an aortic height index of 4.2 or greater compared with an aortic height index of 3.0 to 3.5 (P < .05). The probability of fatal complications (aortic rupture or death) increased sharply at 2 hinge points: 6.0 and 6.5 cm.

Conclusions: Acute type B dissections occur frequently at small aortic sizes; thus, prophylactic size-based surgery may not afford a means for dissection protection. However, fatal complications increase dramatically at 6.0 cm, suggesting that preemptive intervention before that criterion can save lives.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtcvs.2019.10.125DOI Listing
February 2021

Natural history and management of Kommerell's diverticulum in a single tertiary referral center.

J Vasc Surg 2020 06 7;71(6):2004-2011. Epub 2019 Nov 7.

Aortic Institute at Yale-New Haven Hospital, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn. Electronic address:

Objective: The Kommerell diverticulum (KD) is an extremely rare developmental abnormality of the aorta related to an aberrant subclavian artery (ASCA). The objective of our study was to review the natural history of KD and ASCA using our single-center experience in diagnosing and managing KD and ASCA.

Methods: A retrospective review of the Yale radiological database from January 1999 to December 2016 was performed. Only patients with KD/ASCA and a computed tomography (CT) scan of the chest were selected for review. The primary goal was to examine the natural history of KD and ASCA and the secondary goals were to review the management and outcomes of those patients treated for KD and ASCA.

Results: There were 75 patients with KD/ASCA identified, with a mean age of 63 ± 19 years; 49 were female (65%). On CT scans, left- and right-sided aortas were present in 47 (63%) and 28 (37%) patients. A right ASCA or a left ASCA were present in 47 (63%) and 28 (37%) patients. Six patients were symptomatic on presentation. Symptoms included dysphagia, chest or back pain, and emboli to the fingers. The mean KD diameter was 21.8 ± 6.0 mm and the distance to the opposite aortic wall (DAW) was 48.3 ± 10.8 mm. Sixty-six patients were followed for a mean of 31.7 ± 32.5 months. One patient ruptured without repair. Nine patients underwent operative intervention, including eight open and one endovascular repair. Complications from operative intervention included ischemic stroke with hemorrhagic transformation, deep vein thrombosis and pneumonia. The mean growth rate for KD and DAW was 1.45 ± 0.39 mm/year and 2.29 ± 0.47 mm/year, respectively. On multivariable regression analysis, hypertension was a predictor of growth of DAW (P = .03).

Conclusions: KD is uncommon and shows a female predominance. The diverticulum grows, albeit slowly (KD and DAW growth rates of 1.45 ± 0.39 mm/year and 2.29 ± 0.47 mm/year). Most patients are asymptomatic, but dysphagia, chest/back pain, and distal emboli may occur. Rupture is rare. Symptomatic patients should be operated. Asymptomatic patients can be followed with serial CT scans.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvs.2019.08.260DOI Listing
June 2020

Ascending Aortic Length and Risk of Aortic Adverse Events: The Neglected Dimension.

J Am Coll Cardiol 2019 10 13;74(15):1883-1894. Epub 2019 Sep 13.

Aortic Institute at Yale-New Haven Hospital, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut. Electronic address:

Background: Little information is available regarding the longitudinal changes of the aneurysmal ascending aorta.

Objectives: This study sought to outline the natural history of ascending thoracic aortic aneurysm (ATAA) based on ascending aortic length (AAL) and develop novel predictive tools to better aid risk stratification.

Methods: The ascending aortic diameters and lengths, and long-term aortic adverse events (AAEs) (rupture, dissection, and death) of 522 ATAA patients were evaluated using comprehensive statistical approaches.

Results: An AAL of ≥13 cm was associated with an almost 5-fold higher average yearly rate of AAEs compared with an AAL of <9 cm. Two AAL "hinge points" with a sharp increase in the estimated probability of AAEs were detected between 11.5 and 12.0 cm, and between 12.5 and 13.0 cm. The mean estimated annual aortic elongation rate was 0.18 cm/year, and aortic elongation was age dependent. Aortic diameter increased 18% due to dissection while AAL only increased by 2.7%. There was a noticeable improvement in the discrimination of the logistic regression model (area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve: 0.810) due to the introduction of aortic height index (AHI) (diameter height index + length height index). The AHIs <9.33, 9.38 to 10.81, 10.86 to 12.50, and ≥12.57 cm/m were associated with a ∼4%, ∼7%, ∼12%, and ∼18% average yearly risk of AAEs, respectively.

Conclusions: An aortic elongation of 11 cm serves as a potential intervention criterion for ATAA, which is even more reliable than diameter due to its relative immunity to dissection. AHI (including both length and diameter) is more powerful than any single parameter in this study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2019.07.078DOI Listing
October 2019

Incremental direct healthcare expenditures of valvular heart disease in the USA.

J Comp Eff Res 2019 08 21;8(11):879-887. Epub 2019 Aug 21.

Stony Brook University, Department of Family, Population & Preventive Medicine & Department of Economics, Stony Brook, NY 11790, USA.

To quantify the healthcare expenditures for valvular heart disease (VHD) in the USA. Direct annual incremental healthcare expenditures were estimated using multiple logistic and linear regression models. Results were stratified by age cohorts (18-64 years, ≥65 and ≥75 years) and disease status: symptomatic aortic valve disease (AVD), asymptomatic AVD, symptomatic mitral valve disease (MVD) and asymptomatic MVD. A total of 1463 VHD patients were identified. The overall aggregated incremental direct expenditures were $56.62 billion ($26.48 billion for patients ≥75 years). Individuals ≥75 years with symptomatic AVD had the largest incremental effect on annual, per-patient healthcare expenditure of $30,949. The annualized incremental costs of VHD were greatest for individuals ≥75 years with AVD. Identification of VHD at an earlier stage may reduce the economic burden.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2217/cer-2019-0007DOI Listing
August 2019

Parents' son preference, childhood adverse experience and mental health in old age: Evidence from China.

Child Abuse Negl 2019 07 23;93:249-262. Epub 2019 May 23.

China Center for Health Development Studies, Peking University, 38 Xueyuan Road, Beijing, 100083, China. Electronic address:

Background: Son preference is an enduring phenomenon in China and may often be related to childhood adverse experiences. According to a life-course perspective, adverse experiences during a childhood period may have a long-term effect on mental health in later age. However, little is known about this relationship between parents' son preference, childhood adverse experiences and adulthood mental health in China.

Objective: The study aims to evaluate the association of parents' son preference and individual mental health in old age in China. The mediating role of childhood adverse experiences was also estimated.

Participants And Setting: The China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS) 2015 combined with CHARLS life history survey was analyzed (N = 11,666).

Methods: Mental health was measured by a shortened modification of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale including seven items, and higher scores indicated worse mental health status. A four-step mediating model was applied.

Results: Respondents growing in families with son preference had on average 0.75 (P < 0.001) points higher on the mental health scale than their counterparts, and the effects were consistent for both males and females. Childhood adverse experiences measured by physical maltreatment, emotional adverse experiences and witnesses of inter-parent violence mediated the relationship between parents' son preference and individual adulthood mental health by 47.87%. For females, physical maltreatment and emotional adverse experiences explained the most parts of health effects of parents' son preference, whereas witnesses of inter-parent violence was the most influential mediator for males.

Conclusion: Parents' son preference led to adverse childhood experiences, which influenced mental health in adulthood.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2019.05.012DOI Listing
July 2019

Ultrafiltration versus diuretics for the treatment of fluid overload in patients with heart failure: a hospital cost analysis.

J Med Econ 2019 Jun 21;22(6):577-583. Epub 2019 Mar 21.

c Stony Brook University , Stony Brook , NY , USA.

Heart failure (HF) is a common, serious disease in the US and Europe. Patients with HF often require treatment for fluid overload, resulting in costly inpatient visits; however, limited evidence exists on the costs of alternative treatments. This study performed a cost-analysis of ultrafiltration (UF) vs diuretic therapy (DIUR-T) for patients with HF from the hospital perspective. The model used clinical data from the literature and hospital data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project to follow a decision-analytic framework reflecting treatment decisions, probabilistic outcomes, and associated costs for treating patients with HF and hypervolemia with veno-venous UF or intravenous DIUR-T. A 90-day timeframe was considered to account for hospital readmissions beyond 30 days. Sensitivity and scenario analyses were performed to gauge the robustness of the results. Although initial hospitalization costs were higher, fluid removal by UF reduced hospital readmission days, leading to cost savings of $3,975 (14.4%) at the 90-day follow-up (UF costs, $23,633; DIUR-T costs, $27,608). UF is a viable alternative to DIUR-T when treating fluid overload in HF patients because it reduces hospital readmission rates and durations, which substantially lowers costs over a 90-day period compared to DIUR-T.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13696998.2019.1584109DOI Listing
June 2019

Simple renal cysts and bovine aortic arch: markers for aortic disease.

Open Heart 2019;6(1):e000862. Epub 2019 Jan 28.

Aortic Institute at Yale-New Haven Hospital, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.

Objective: This study aimed to assess the prevalence of thoracic aortic disease (TAD) and abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) among patients with simple renal cyst (SRC) and bovine aortic arch (BAA).

Methods: Through a retrospective search for patients who underwent both chest and abdominal CT imaging at our institution from 2012 to 2016, we identified patients with SRC and BAA and propensity score matched them to those without these features by age, gender and presence of hypertension, hyperlipidaemia, diabetes and chronic kidney disease.

Results: Of a total of 35 498 patients, 6366 were found to have SRC. Compared with the matched population without SRC, individuals with SRC were significantly more likely to have TAD (10.1% vs 3.9%), ascending aortic aneurysm (8.0% vs 3.2%), descending aortic aneurysm (3.3% vs 0.9%), type A aortic dissection (0.6% vs 0.2%), type B aortic dissection (1.1% vs 0.3%) and AAA (7.9% vs 3.3%). The 920 patients identified with BAA were significantly more likely to have TAD (21.8% vs 4.5%), ascending aortic aneurysm (18.4% vs 3.2%), descending aortic aneurysm (6.5% vs 2.0%), type A aortic dissection (1.4% vs 0.4%) and type B aortic dissection (2.4% vs 0.7%) than the matched population without BAA. SRC and BAA were found to be significantly associated with the presence of TAD (OR=2.57 and 7.69, respectively) and AAA (OR=2.81 and 2.56, respectively) on multivariable analysis.

Conclusions: This study establishes a substantial increased prevalence of aortic disease among patients with SRC and BAA. SRC and BAA should be considered markers for aortic aneurysm development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/openhrt-2018-000862DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6350752PMC
February 2021

Decision-making algorithm for ascending aortic aneurysm: Effectiveness in clinical application?

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2019 05 14;157(5):1733-1745. Epub 2018 Nov 14.

Aortic Institute at Yale-New Haven Hospital, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn. Electronic address:

Objective: The risk of rupture and dissection in ascending thoracic aortic aneurysms increases as the aortic diameter exceeds 5 cm. This study evaluates the clinical effectiveness of a specific algorithm based on size and symptoms for preemptive surgery to prevent complications.

Methods: A total of 781 patients with nondissecting ascending thoracic aortic aneurysms who presented electively for evaluation to our institution from 2011 to 2017 were triaged to surgery (n = 607, 77%) or medical observation (n = 181, 24%) based on a specific algorithm: surgery for large (>5 cm) or symptomatic aneurysms. A total of 309 of 781 patients did not undergo surgery. Of these, 128 (16%) had been triaged to prompt repair but did not undergo surgery for a variety of reasons ("surgery noncompliant and overwhelming comorbidities" group). Another 181 patients (24%) were triaged to medical management ("medical" group).

Results: In the "surgery noncompliant and overwhelming comorbidities" versus the "medical" group, mean aortic diameters were 5 ± 0.5 cm versus 4.45 ± 0.4 cm and aortic events (rupture/dissection) occurred in 17 patients (13.3%) versus 3 patients (1.7%), respectively (P < .001). Later elective surgeries (representing late compliance in the "surgery noncompliant and overwhelming comorbidities group" or onset of growth or symptoms in the "medical" group) were conducted in 21 patients (16.4%) versus 15 patients (8.3%) (P = .04), respectively. Death ensued in 20 patients (15.6%) versus 6 patients (3.3%) (P < .001), respectively. In the "surgery noncompliant and overwhelming comorbidities" group, 7 of 20 patients died of definite aortic causes compared with none in the "medical" group.

Conclusions: Patients with ascending thoracic aortic aneurysms who did not follow surgical recommendations experienced substantially worse outcomes compared with medically triaged candidates. The specific algorithm based on size and symptoms functioned effectively in the clinical setting, correctly identifying both at-risk and safe patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtcvs.2018.09.124DOI Listing
May 2019

Changes in Smoking Behaviors following Exposure to Health Shocks in China.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2018 12 19;15(12). Epub 2018 Dec 19.

China Center for Health Development Studies, Health Science Center, Peking University, Beijing 100083, China.

: Evidence suggests that following major individual health shocks, smokers change their smoking behaviors. However, little is known about the association between spousal health shocks and smoking. This study examined the contemporaneous and long-term effects of individual and spousal health shocks on males' smoking behaviors in China. : This study employed a nation-wide data base from the 1991⁻2011 China Health and Nutrition Study. Random effects models were estimated to ascertain the impacts of health shocks on males' smoking behavior. Smoking behaviors were measured by smoking status, smoking consumption and smoking cessation. : In the short term, respondents who incurred health shocks decreased their likelihood of smoking by 10%. In addition, health shocks decreased the likelihood of heavy smoking versus the combined moderate and light categories by 41.6%, and increased their likelihood of quitting by 85.3% for ever smokers. Spousal health shocks had no significant effects on individual smoking behaviors. The long-term effects were similar to the short term impacts. : People changed their smoking behaviors in response to their own health experiences but not those of their spouses. Antismoking messages about the health effects on others are unlikely to influence individual smoking behaviors, unless individuals believed that they are personally vulnerable to smoking-related diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15122905DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6313584PMC
December 2018

Racial Disparities in PAD-Related Amputation Rates among Native Americans and non-Hispanic Whites: An HCUP Analysis.

J Health Care Poor Underserved 2018 ;29(2):782-800

Introduction: This study analyzed the impact of sociodemographic characteristics, patient comorbidities, risk factors for critical limb ischemia and hospital characteristics on racial disparities in amputation rates for Native American patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD).

Methods: The study used the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Program inpatient discharge data from 2006-2013 for patients with a primary diagnosis of PAD. Multivariable models using the Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition method were estimated to isolate the impact of individual covariates to identify determinants of amputation rates for Native Americans compared with non-Hispanic Whites.

Results: Region of the country made a difference in this analysis with Native Americans residing in the West Census Region being twice as likely to undergo amputation as non-Hispanic Whites.

Conclusions: After adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics, patient comorbidities, and hospital characteristics, Native Americans with PAD who reside in the West Census Region are substantially more likely to undergo amputation than are non-Hispanic Whites.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/hpu.2018.0058DOI Listing
March 2019

Natural history of aneurysmal aortic arch branch vessels in a single tertiary referral center.

J Vasc Surg 2018 12 24;68(6):1631-1639.e1. Epub 2018 May 24.

Aortic Institute at Yale-New Haven Hospital, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn. Electronic address:

Objective: Little is known about the natural history and management of aneurysmal aortic arch branch vessels (AABVs). The objectives of this study were to assess the natural history of aneurysmal AABVs and to examine the outcomes of operative intervention.

Methods: A retrospective review of the Yale radiologic database from 1999 to 2016 was performed. Only those patients with an aneurysmal AABV and a computed tomography scan were selected for review. Patients' demographics, aneurysm characteristics, management, and follow-up information were collected.

Results: There were 105 patients with 147 aneurysmal AABVs; 76 were male (72%), with a mean age of 70 years (range, 17-93 years). We identified 63 innominate, 50 left subclavian, 30 right subclavian, and 4 common carotid artery aneurysms. On computed tomography, 65 (62%) had aortic aneurysms and six (6%) had suffered an aortic dissection. Most were asymptomatic (104 [99%]); one had chest pain and an enlarging swollen mass. Twelve (11%) patients underwent operative repair (OR) for 12 aneurysmal AABVs because of symptoms, growth, or concomitant aortic operations; 93 (89%) were observed in the no operative repair (NOR) group with cross-sectional imaging. The overall mean vessel diameter was 2.08 ± 0.68 cm. The mean diameters in the OR and NOR groups were 3.32 ± 1.24 cm and 1.97 ± 0.46 cm, respectively (P = .002). OR included nine bypasses with resection, two stent grafts, and one resection without reconstruction. Two patients developed postoperative hemorrhage requiring re-exploration, one patient developed stent thrombosis, and one patient required pseudoaneurysm repair 20 years after index operation. Mean follow-up was 52 ± 51 months for the NOR group, with no ruptures or emboli. The growth rate was 0.04 ± 0.10 cm/y. On multivariable regression analysis, a descending aortic aneurysm (P = .041) and a left subclavian artery aneurysm (P = .016) were associated with higher growth rates, whereas height was associated with a lower growth rate (P = .001).

Conclusions: Aneurysmal AABVs tend to have a benign natural history with slow growth rates and low rates of complications, including rupture and embolization. We recommend expectant observational management for small, incidentally detected aneurysms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvs.2018.03.412DOI Listing
December 2018

Natural history and management of splanchnic artery aneurysms in a single tertiary referral center.

J Vasc Surg 2018 10 21;68(4):1079-1087. Epub 2018 Mar 21.

Aortic Institute at Yale-New Haven Hospital, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn. Electronic address:

Objective: Splanchnic artery aneurysms (SAAs) are rare, and little is known about their natural history and management. We reviewed our single-center experience in managing this population of patients.

Methods: A retrospective review of the Yale radiologic database from January 1999 to December 2016 was performed. Only patients with an SAA and a computed tomography scan of the abdomen were selected for review. Demographics of the patients, aneurysm characteristics, management, postoperative complications, and follow-up data were collected. Our primary outcomes included aneurysm growth rate and risk of rupture in those patients managed nonoperatively and morbidity and mortality of those SAA patients who underwent operative intervention.

Results: There were 122 patients with 138 SAAs identified; 77 were male (62%), with a mean age of 66 years (range, 25-94 years). On computed tomography, 56 (45%) had previously diagnosed or concomitant aneurysms elsewhere. Of the patients managed nonoperatively, 101 patients (79%) had 108 SAAs; in the operative intervention group, 25 (21%) patients had 30 SAAs. The mean overall vessel diameter was 1.76 ± 0.83 cm. The diameter of observed and operatively repaired SAAs was 1.58 ± 0.56 cm and 2.41 ± 1.23 cm, respectively (P = .00001). Mean follow-up was 50 ± 42 months for nonoperative management without any adverse events related to SAA, including 10 patients with SAA >2.0 cm. The mean observed growth rate for SAA was 0.064 ± 0.18 cm/y. All symptomatic patients who presented with severe abdominal pain (n = 11 [44%]) underwent operative intervention. Five patients presented with a ruptured SAA (3.6%; range, 2.3-5.0 cm); all of them except one underwent operative intervention. Other indications for repair included large size in seven, rapid growth in two, other open abdominal surgical procedures in two, multiple aneurysms in one, and desire to pursue fertility treatment in one. Operative repair included 14 (56%) endovascular embolizations and 11 (44%) open abdominal operations. After endovascular embolization, two patients underwent abdominal operation for hemorrhage and splenectomy. Open repairs included bypasses in six, splenectomy in two, resection in two, and plication in one. Two patients had postoperative acute kidney injury that resolved and one died of multisystem organ failure. One bypass occluded without sequelae. On multivariable regression analysis, female sex (P = .02) was associated with faster growth rate, and a history of smoking (P = .04) was associated with slower growth rate.

Conclusions: It seems reasonable to observe asymptomatic patients with an SAA <2.0 cm because of the slow growth rate (0.064 ± 0.18 cm/y) and benign behavior. When intervention is needed, both open and endovascular options should be considered.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvs.2017.12.057DOI Listing
October 2018

Bariatric Surgery Coverage: a Comprehensive Budget Impact Analysis from a Payer Perspective.

Obes Surg 2018 06;28(6):1711-1723

Health Policy, Economics & Market Access, Ethicon, Inc., Somerville, NJ, USA.

Objective: The objective of this study was to estimate a payer's budget impact of bariatric surgery coverage under (1) unrestricted, (2) budget-restricted ($500,000/year), and (3) quantity-restricted (100/year) medical benefit plan scenarios versus non-coverage in general and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) populations over a 10-year period.

Methods: Using recently published literature and health technology assessment reports, the model evaluated a hypothetical payer population of 100,000 members under current real-world trends: BMI-defined obesity groups (31.3% normal/underweight, 33% overweight, 20.4% obese, 9% severely obese and 6.3% morbidly obese), T2DM prevalence (6.7-27.5%; 100% for the T2DM model), surgery type (LAGB, BPD/DS, VSG, and RYGB), and differential outcomes (T2DM resolution, costs, and reoperation and complications rates). Assuming a surgery election rate of 1.42% among eligible candidates with a 3% discount rate and 10% annual surgery turnover rate, the model calculated the incremental cost per-member-per-month (PMPM) by estimating the difference in total non-T2DM and T2DM-related expected costs and savings. One-way (± 25%) sensitivity analysis was performed.

Results: The impact of covering bariatric surgery under multiple scenarios for a general (or T2DM) population ranged from an additional $0.3 to $3.6 (T2DM: $0.3 to $10.5) PMPM in year 1. Incremental costs diminished over time, breaking even between years 5 and 9 (T2DM: 5-6), and by year 10, cost savings were estimated to be between $1.5 and $4.8 (T2DM: $1.2 and $31.8).

Conclusion: Providing bariatric surgery coverage may have a modest short-term budget impact increase but would lead to long-term net cost savings in a general population model. The cost savings were much more pronounced in the T2DM model.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11695-017-3085-8DOI Listing
June 2018

Natural history and management of renal artery aneurysms in a single tertiary referral center.

J Vasc Surg 2018 07 2;68(1):137-144. Epub 2018 Feb 2.

Aortic Institute at Yale-New Haven Hospital, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn. Electronic address:

Objective: Although renal artery aneurysms (RAAs) are uncommon, several large reports have been published indicating their benign natural history. The objective of our study was to review our single-center experience managing this disease entity.

Methods: A retrospective review of the Yale radiologic database from January 1999 to December 2016 was performed. Only patients with RAA and a computed tomography scan of the abdomen were selected for review. Demographics of the patients, aneurysm characteristics, management, postoperative complications, and follow-up data were collected.

Results: There were 241 patients with 259 RAAs identified, with a mean age of 69 years (range, 35-100 years); 147 were female (61%). On computed tomography, aneurysms were solitary and right sided in 224 (86%) and 159 (61%), respectively; 64 (27%) patients had aneurysms elsewhere. The breakdown of RAAs by location was as follows: renal bifurcation in 84 (32%), renal pelvis in 77 (30%), distal renal artery in 58 (22%), mid renal artery in 34 (13%), and proximal renal artery in 6 (2%). Five patients had symptoms that were attributed to the RAA and underwent operative repair; all others were observed without an operation. Symptoms in the operative repair group included flank pain in four and uncontrolled hypertension in one. The mean overall diameter of the RAAs was 1.22 ± 0.49 cm. The diameter of operatively repaired and observed RAAs was 1.84 ± 0.55 cm and 1.21 ± 0.48 cm, respectively (P = .002). Operative repair included four coil embolizations and one open resection. There were no renal function changes in any of these patients after operation and no other complications. Mean follow-up was 41 ± 35 months for patients in the group that was observed; 18 of these RAAs were >2 cm, and none ruptured. On multivariable regression analysis, female sex (P = .0001), smoking history (P = .00007), left-sided RAA (P = .03), and main renal artery location (P = .03) were inversely related to growth, whereas a history of hypertension was directly related to growth rate (P = .01). The mean growth rate for RAAs was 0.017 ± 0.052 cm/y.

Conclusions: RAAs tend to have a benign natural history. Although previous reports have not identified any factors that contribute to RAA growth, we observed that RAA location, sex, smoking history, and hypertension may have an impact on growth rates. No ruptures were observed. Operative repair at our institution was rare, with no morbidity or mortality. Observation of RAAs over time seems feasible in the asymptomatic patient with a small RAA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvs.2017.10.086DOI Listing
July 2018

Height alone, rather than body surface area, suffices for risk estimation in ascending aortic aneurysm.

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2018 05 6;155(5):1938-1950. Epub 2017 Dec 6.

Aortic Institute at Yale-New Haven Hospital, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn. Electronic address:

Background: In international guidelines, risk estimation for thoracic ascending aortic aneurysm (TAAA) is based on aortic diameter. We previously introduced the aortic size index (ASI), defined as aortic size/body surface area (BSA), as a predictor of aortic dissection, rupture, and death. However, weight might not contribute substantially to aortic size and growth. We seek to evaluate the height-based aortic height index (AHI) versus ASI for risk estimation and revisit our natural history calculations.

Methods: Aortic diameters and long-term complications of 780 patients with TAAA were analyzed. Growth rate estimates, yearly complication rates, and survival were assessed. Risk stratification was performed using regression models. The predictive value of AHI and ASI was compared.

Results: Patients were stratified into 4 categories of yearly risk of complications based on their ASI and AHI. ASIs (cm/m) of ≤2.05, 2.08 to 2.95, 3.00 to 3.95 and ≥4, and AHIs (cm/m) of ≤2.43, 2.44 to 3.17, 3.21 to 4.06, and ≥4.1 were associated with a 4%, 7%, 12%, and 18% average yearly risk of complications, respectively. Five-year complication-free survival was progressively worse with increasing ASI and AHI. Both ASI and AHI were shown to be significant predictors of complications (P < .05). AHI categories 3.05 to 3.69, 3.70 to 4.34, and ≥4.35 cm/m were associated with a significantly increased risk of complications (P < .05). The overall fit of the model using AHI was modestly superior according to the concordance statistic.

Conclusions: Compared with indices including weight, the simpler height-based ratio (excluding weight and BSA calculations) yields satisfactory results for evaluating the risk of natural complications in patients with TAAA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtcvs.2017.10.140DOI Listing
May 2018

The Effect of Childhood Health Status on Adult Health in China.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2018 01 26;15(2). Epub 2018 Jan 26.

China Center for Health Development Studies, Peking University, Beijing 100083, China.

Childhood health in China was poor in the 1950s and 1960s because of limited nutrition. In the last three decades, China has distinguished itself through its tremendous economic growth and improvements in health and nutrition. However, prior to such growth, access to good nutrition was more variable, with potentially important implications, not only for childhood health, but also for adult health, because of its long-term effects lasting into adulthood. To shed light on these issues, this study examined the long-run association between childhood health and adult health outcomes among a middle-aged Chinese population and addresses the endogeneity of childhood health. A nationwide database from the 2011 China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS) was employed. Three adult health outcomes variables were used: self-reported health status, cognition, and physical function. The local variation in grain production in the subjects' fetal period and the first 24 months following birth was employed as an instrument for childhood health in order to correct for its endogeneity. Childhood health recalled by the respondents was positively and significantly associated with their adult health outcomes in terms of self-reported health status, cognition, and physical function in single-equation estimates that did not correct for the endogeneity of childhood health. A good childhood health status increased the probabilities of good adult health, good adult cognitive function, and good adult physical function by 16% (95% CI: 13-18%), 13% (95% CI: 10-15%), and 14% (95% CI: 12-17%), respectively. After correcting for endogeneity, the estimated effects of good childhood health were consistent but stronger. We also studied the male and female populations separately, finding that the positive effects of childhood health on adult health were larger for males. In China, childhood health significantly affects adult health. This suggests that early interventions to promote childhood health will have long-term benefits in China and that health-care policies should consider their long-term impacts over the life cycle in addition to their effects on specific age groups.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15020212DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5858281PMC
January 2018

Prevention of Aortic Dissection Suggests a Diameter Shift to a Lower Aortic Size Threshold for Intervention.

Cardiology 2018;139(3):139-146. Epub 2018 Jan 19.

Background: Multiple studies have quantified the relationship between aortic size and risk of dissection. However, these studies estimated the risk of dissection without accounting for any increase in aortic size from the dissection process itself.

Objectives: This study aims to compare aortic size before and after dissection and to evaluate the change in size consequent to the dissection itself.

Methods: Fifty-five consecutive patients (29 type A; 26 type B) with aortic dissection and incidental imaging studies prior to dissection were identified and compared to a control group of aneurysm patients (n = 205). The average time between measurement at and prior to dissection was 1.7 ± 1.9 years (1.9 ± 2.0 years mean inter-image time in the control group). A multivariate regression model controlling for growth rate, age, and gender was created to estimate the effect of dissection itself on aortic size.

Results: The mean aortic sizes at and prior to dissection were 54.2 ± 7.0 and 45.1 ± 5.7 mm for the ascending aorta, and 47.1 ± 13.8 and 39.5 ± 13.1 mm for the descending aorta, respectively. The multivariable analysis revealed a significant impact of the dissection itself (p < 0.001) and estimated an increase in size of 7.65 mm (ascending aorta) and 6.38 mm (descending aorta). Thus, a proportional estimate of 82.8% (ascending aorta) and 80.8% (descending aorta) of dissections are made at a size lower than the guideline-recommended threshold (55 mm).

Conclusions: The aortic diameter increases substantially due to aortic dissection itself and, thus, aortas are being dissected at clinically meaningfully smaller sizes than natural history analyses have previously suggested. These findings have important implications regarding the size at which the risk of dissection is increased.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000481930DOI Listing
October 2018

Natural history of aortic root aneurysms in Marfan syndrome.

Ann Cardiothorac Surg 2017 Nov;6(6):625-632

Aortic Institute at Yale-New Haven Hospital, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.

Background: Cardiovascular complications account for a significant proportion of the shortened lifespan of Marfan syndrome (MFS) patients, with aortic dissection being the most dreadful complication. The aortic root dilates initially in MFS patients, and given its important hemodynamic role, this can lead to aortic regurgitation and poses a substantial risk of aortic dissection. This study seeks to evaluate the natural history of aortic root aneurysms in MFS patients, with a focus on growth rates and correlation of root diameter with the risk of developing aortic complications.

Methods: Seventy-eight patients confirmed to have MFS and aortic root dilatation were retrospectively reviewed, and their aortic root diameters serially analyzed. Annual growth rate estimates and yearly rates of adverse events were computed and correlated with aortic diameter.

Results: The mean annual growth rate of the aortic root was estimated to be 0.26±0.05 cm/year (range 0.13 to 0.35 cm). Larger aneurysms grew faster, reaching up to 0.46 cm/year for aneurysms >6 cm. Mean age at onset of aortic dissection was 36±4 years. Annual rates of adverse events (rupture, dissection and death) were obtained using a logistic regression model at sizes 3.5, 4, 4.5, 5, 5.5 and 6 cm. A sharp increase of 23% in the probability of the risk of complications at diameters 5.5 to 6 cm was recognized.

Conclusions: Aortic root aneurysms in MFS patients tend to have a faster expansion rate compared to non-MFS individuals, with aortic root diameter having a significant impact on the yearly risk of developing aortic complications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/acs.2017.11.10DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5721101PMC
November 2017

Hospital cost impact of orbital atherectomy with angioplasty for critical limb ischemia treatment: a modeling approach.

J Comp Eff Res 2018 04 26;7(4):305-317. Epub 2017 Oct 26.

Cardiovascular Research, Metro Health University of Michigan Health Wyoming, MI 49519, USA.

Aim: The incremental cost of peripheral orbital atherectomy system (OAS) plus balloon angioplasty (BA) versus BA-only for critical limb ischemia was estimated.

Materials & Methods: A deterministic simulation model used clinical and healthcare utilization data from the CALCIUM 360° trial and current cost data. Incremental cost of OAS + BA versus BA-only included differential utilization during the procedure and adverse-event costs at 3, 6 and 12-months.

Results: For every 100 procedures, incremental annual costs to the hospital were US$350,930 lower with OAS + BA compared with BA-only. Despite higher upfront costs, savings were realized due to reduced need for revascularization, amputation and end-of-life care over 6-12-month postoperative period.

Conclusion: Atherectomy with OAS prior to BA was associated with cost savings to the hospital.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2217/cer-2017-0070DOI Listing
April 2018

Does Migration Limit the Effect of Health Insurance on Hypertension Management in China?

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2017 10 20;14(10). Epub 2017 Oct 20.

Department of Social Medicine, School of Public Health, National Key Laboratory of Health Technology Assessment (National Health and Family Planning Commission), Collaborative Innovation Center of Social Risks Governance in Health, Fudan University, 138 Yi Xue Yuan Road, Shanghai 200032, China.

In China, rapid urbanization has caused migration from rural to urban areas, and raised the prevalence of hypertension. However, public health insurance is not portable from one place to another, and migration may limit the effectiveness of this non-portable health insurance on healthcare. Our study aims to investigate whether migration limits the effectiveness of health insurance on hypertension management in China. Data were obtained from the national baseline survey of the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study in 2011, including 4926 hypertensive respondents with public health insurance. Outcome measures included use of primary care, hypertension awareness, medication use, blood pressure monitoring, physician advice, and blood pressure control. Multivariate logistic regressions were estimated to examine whether the effects of rural health insurance on hypertension management differed between those who migrated to urban areas and those who did not migrate and lived in rural areas. Among hypertensive respondents, 60.7% were aware of their hypertensive status. Compared to rural residents, the non-portable feature of rural health insurance significantly reduced rural-to-urban migrants' probabilities of using primary care by 7.8 percentage points, hypertension awareness by 8.8 percentage points, and receiving physician advice by 18.3 percentage points. In China, migration to urban areas limited the effectiveness of rural health insurance on hypertension management due to its non-portable nature. It is critical to improve the portability of rural health insurance, and to extend urban health insurance and primary care coverage to rural-to-urban migrants to achieve better chronic disease management.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101256DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5664757PMC
October 2017

Favorable late survival after aortic surgery under straight deep hypothermic circulatory arrest.

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2017 12 31;154(6):1831-1839.e1. Epub 2017 Aug 31.

Aortic Institute at Yale New-Haven Hospital, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn. Electronic address:

Background: Surgical and cerebral protection strategies in aortic arch surgery remain under debate. Perioperative results using deep hypothermic circulatory arrest (DHCA) have been associated with favorable short-term mortality and stroke rates. The present study focuses on late survival in patients undergoing aortic surgery using DHCA.

Methods: A total of 613 patients (mean age, 63.7 years) underwent aortic surgery between January 2003 and December 2015 using DHCA, with 77.3% undergoing hemiarch replacement and 20.4% undergoing arch replacement, with a mean DHCA duration of 29.7 ± 8.5 minutes (range, 10-62 minutes). We examined follow-up extending up to a mean of 3.8 ± 3.4 years (range, 0-14.1 years).

Results: Operative mortality was 2.9%, and the stroke rate was 2%. Survival was 92.2% at 1 year and 81.5% at 5 years, significantly lower than the values in an age- and sex-matched reference population. In elective, nondissection first-time surgeries (n = 424), survival was similar to that of the reference group. Acute type A aortic dissection (hazard ratio [HR], 4.84; P = .000), redo (HR, 4.12; P = .000), and descending aortic pathology (HR, 5.54: P = .000) were independently associated with reduced 1-year survival. Beyond 1 year, age (HR, 1.07; P = .000), major complications (HR, 3.11; P = .000), and atrial fibrillation (HR, 2.47; P = .006) were independently associated with poor survival. DHCA time was not significantly associated with survival in multivariable analysis.

Conclusions: Aortic surgery with DHCA can be performed with favorable late survival, with the duration of DHCA period having only a limited impact. However, these results cannot be generalized for very long durations of DHCA (>50 minutes), when perfusion methods may be preferable. In elective, nondissection first-time surgeries, a late survival comparable to that in a reference population can be achieved. Early survival is adversely affected by aortic dissection, redo status, and disease extent.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtcvs.2017.08.015DOI Listing
December 2017

Does NGAL reduce costs? A cost analysis of urine NGAL (uNGAL) & serum creatinine (sCr) for acute kidney injury (AKI) diagnosis.

PLoS One 2017 19;12(5):e0178091. Epub 2017 May 19.

Columbia University Medical Center, New York, New York, United States of America.

Introduction: Urine neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (uNGAL) is a sensitive and specific diagnostic test for acute kidney injury (AKI) in the Emergency Department (ED), but its economic impact has not been investigated. We hypothesized that uNGAL used in combination with serum creatinine (sCr) would reduce costs in the management of AKI in patients presenting to the ED in comparison to using sCr alone.

Materials And Methods: A cost simulation model was developed for clinical algorithms to diagnose AKI based on sCr alone vs. uNGAL plus sCr (uNGAL+sCr). A cost minimization analysis was performed to determine total expected costs for patients with AKI. uNGAL test characteristics were validated with eight-hundred forty-nine patients with sCr ≥1.5 from a completed study of 1635 patients recruited from EDs at two U.S. hospitals from 2007-8. Biomarker test, AKI work-up, and diagnostic imaging costs were incorporated.

Results: For a hypothetical cohort of 10,000 patients, the model predicted that the expected costs were $900 per patient (pp) in the sCr arm and $950 in the uNGAL+sCr arm. uNGAL+sCr resulted in 1,578 fewer patients with delayed diagnosis and treatment than sCr alone (2,013 vs. 436 pts) at center 1 and 1,973 fewer patients with delayed diagnosis and treatment than sCr alone at center 2 (2,227 vs. 254 patients). Although initial evaluation costs at each center were $50 pp higher in with uNGAL+sCr, total costs declined by $408 pp at Center 1 and by $522 pp at Center 2 due to expected reduced delays in diagnosis and treatment. Sensitivity analyses confirmed savings with uNGAL + sCr for a range of cost inputs.

Discussion: Using uNGAL with sCr as a clinical diagnostic test for AKI may improve patient management and reduce expected costs. Any cost savings would likely result from avoiding delays in diagnosis and treatment and from avoidance of unnecessary testing in patients given a false positive AKI diagnosis by use of sCr alone.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0178091PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5438176PMC
October 2017

Positive family history of aortic dissection dramatically increases dissection risk in family members.

Int J Cardiol 2017 Aug 25;240:132-137. Epub 2017 Apr 25.

Aortic Institute at Yale-New Haven Hospital, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, United States. Electronic address:

Objectives: Although family members of patients with aortic dissection (AoD) are believed to be at higher risk of AoD, the prognostic value of family history (FH) of aortic dissection (FHAD) in family members of patients with AoD has not been studied rigorously. We seek examine how much a positive FHAD increases the risk of developing new aortic dissection (AoD) among first-degree relatives.

Methods: Patients with AoD at our institution were analyzed for information of FHAD. Positive FHAD referred to that AoD occurred in index patient and one or more first-degree relatives. Negative FHAD was defined as the condition in which only one case of AoD (the index patient) occurred in the family. The age at AoD, exposure years in adulthood before AoD, and annual probability of AoD among first-degree relatives were compared between patients with negative and positive FHADs.

Results: FHAD was positive in 32 and negative in 68 among the 100 AoD patients with detailed family history information. Mean age at dissection was 59.9±14.7years. Compared to negative FHAD, patients with positive FHAD dissected at significantly younger age (54.7±16.8 vs 62.4±13.0years, p=0.013), had more AoD events in first-degree relatives (2.3±0.6 vs 1.0±0.0, p<0.001), and shorter exposure years per AoD event (18.3±6.7 vs 43.1±8.5, p<0.001). Annual probability of AoD per first-degree relative was 2.77 times higher in patients with positive than negative FHADs (0.0100±0.0057 vs 0.0036±0.0014, p<0.001).

Conclusions: A positive FHAD confers a significantly increased risk of developing aortic dissection on family members, with a higher annual probability of aortic dissection, a shorter duration of "exposure time" before dissection occurs and a lower mean age at time of dissection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijcard.2017.04.080DOI Listing
August 2017

The economic value of rapid deployment aortic valve replacement via full sternotomy.

J Comp Eff Res 2017 Jun 4;6(4):293-302. Epub 2017 Apr 4.

New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA.

Aim: To compare the economic value of EDWARDS INTUITY Elite™ (EIE) valve system for rapid-deployment aortic valve replacement (RDAVR) in a full sternotomy (FS) approach (EIE-FS-RDAVR) versus FS-AVR using conventional stented bioprosthesis.

Data & Methods: A simulation model to compare each treatment's 30-day inpatient utilization and complication rates utilized: clinical end points obtained from the TRANSFORM trial patient subset (EIE-FS-RDAVR) and a best evidence review of the published literature (FS-AVR); and costs from the Premier database and published literature.

Results: EIE-FS-RDAVR costs $800 less than FS-AVR per surgery episode attributable to lowered complication rates and utilization. Combined with the lower mortality, EIE-FS-RDAVR was a superior (dominant) technology versus FS-AVR.

Conclusion: This preliminary investigation of EIE-FS-RDAVR versus conventional FS-AVR found the EIE valve offered superior economic value over a 30-day period. Real-world analyses with additional long-term follow-up are needed to evaluate if this result can be replicated over a longer timeframe.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2217/cer-2016-0064DOI Listing
June 2017
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