High mortality risks after major lower extremity amputation in Medicare patients with peripheral artery disease

Duke Clinical Research Institute, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC
American heart journal (Impact Factor: 4.46). 05/2013; 165(5):809-815.e1. DOI: 10.1016/j.ahj.2012.12.002
Source: PubMed


Little is known regarding the contemporary outcomes of older patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD) undergoing major lower extremity (LE) amputation in the United States. We sought to characterize clinical outcomes and factors associated with outcomes after LE amputation in patients with PAD.
Using data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services from January 1, 2000, to December 31, 2008, we examined the national patterns of mortality after major LE amputation among patients 65 years or older with PAD. Cox proportional hazards models were used to investigate the association between clinical variables, comorbid conditions, year of index amputation, geographic variation, and major LE amputation.
Among 186,338 older patients with identified PAD who underwent major LE amputation, the mortality rate was 13.5% at 30 days, 48.3% at 1 year, and 70.9% at 3 years. Age per 5-year increase (hazard ratio [HR] 1.29, 95% CI 1.29-1.29), history of heart failure (HR 1.71, 95% CI 1.71-1.72), renal disease (HR 1.84. 95% CI 1.83-1.85), cancer (HR 1.71, 95% CI 1.70-1.72), and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (HR 1.33, 95% CI, 1.32-1.33) were all independently associated with death after major LE amputation. Subjects who underwent above knee amputation had a statistically higher hazard of death when compared with subjects who underwent LE amputation at more distal locations (HR with above the knee amputation 1.31, 95% CI 1.25-1.36).
Older patients with PAD undergoing major LE amputation still face a slightly high mortality risk, with almost half of all patients with PAD dying within a year of major LE amputation.

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    • "A recent analysis of US Medicare data from 2000 to 2008 found that out of approximately three million patients hospitalized with PAD, 186,338 underwent major LEA during that time (6.8%).16,17 The patients who underwent major LEA had mortality rates that were nearly twice as high as those who did not undergo major LEA at 30 days (13.5% versus [vs] 6.9%), 1 year (48.3% vs 24.2%), and 3 years (70.9% vs 43.2%) (Figure 2).16 These striking rates of mortality in patients with PAD, with and without major LEA, highlight the need for programs to improve public awareness and standardize treatment strategies for the prevention of LEA. "
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    ABSTRACT: Peripheral artery disease affects over eight million Americans and is associated with an increased risk of mortality, cardiovascular disease, functional limitation, and limb loss. In its most severe form, critical limb ischemia, patients are often treated with lower extremity (LE) amputation (LEA), although the overall incidence of LEA is declining. In the US, there is significant geographic variation in the performing of major LEA. The rate of death after major LEA in the US is approximately 48% at 1 year and 71% at 3 years. Despite this significant morbidity and mortality, the use of diagnostic testing (both noninvasive and invasive testing) in the year prior to LEA is low and varies based on patient, provider, and regional factors. In this review we discuss the significance of LEA and methods to reduce its occurrence. These methods include improved recognition of the risk factors for LEA by clinicians and patients, strong advocacy for noninvasive and/or invasive imaging prior to LEA, improved endovascular revascularization techniques, and novel therapies.
    Vascular Health and Risk Management 07/2014; 10:417-424. DOI:10.2147/VHRM.S50588
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    • "For the included patients, the only alternative treatment would be to have an amputation sooner. Patients with peripheral arterial disease who undergo major limb amputation have a very poor prognosis, with almost 50% mortality within 1 year (15). Patients who have had one leg amputated may be able to stay in their home, but after losing their second leg almost inevitably need to stay in nursing homes, causing loss of quality of life and large societal costs (16). "
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