Association Between Patient Survival and Clinician Variability in Treatment Rates for Aortic Valve Stenosis.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Background Patients with symptomatic severe aortic stenosis (ssAS) have a high mortality risk and compromised quality of life. Surgical/transcatheter aortic valve replacement (AVR) is a Class I recommendation, but it is unclear if this recommendation is uniformly applied. We determined the impact of managing cardiologists on the likelihood of ssAS treatment. Methods and Results Using natural language processing of Optum electronic health records, we identified 26 438 patients with newly diagnosed ssAS (2011-2016). Multilevel, multivariable Fine-Gray competing risk models clustered by cardiologists were used to determine the impact of cardiologists on the likelihood of 1-year AVR treatment. Within 1 year of diagnosis, 35.6% of patients with ssAS received an AVR; however, rates varied widely among managing cardiologists (0%, lowest quartile; 100%, highest quartile [median, 29.6%; 25th-75th percentiles, 13.3%-47.0%]). The odds of receiving AVR varied >2-fold depending on the cardiologist (median odds ratio for AVR, 2.25; 95% CI, 2.14-2.36). Compared with patients with ssAS of cardiologists with the highest treatment rates, those treated by cardiologists with the lowest AVR rates experienced significantly higher 1-year mortality (lowest quartile, adjusted hazard ratio, 1.22, 95% CI, 1.13-1.33). Conclusions Overall AVR rates for ssAS were low, highlighting a potential challenge for ssAS management in the United States. Cardiologist AVR use varied substantially; patients treated by cardiologists with lower AVR rates had higher mortality rates than those treated by cardiologists with higher AVR rates.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Brennan, JM; Lowenstern, A; Sheridan, P; Boero, IJ; Thourani, VH; Vemulapalli, S; Wang, TY; Liska, O; Gander, S; Jager, J; Leon, MB; Peterson, ED

Published Date

  • August 17, 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 10 / 16

Start / End Page

  • e020490 -

PubMed ID

  • 34387116

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC8475044

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2047-9980

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1161/JAHA.120.020490


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England