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BACKGROUND: There is a paucity of data regarding sex differences in the profiles and outcomes of ambulatory patients on left ventricular assist device (LVAD) support who present to the emergency department (ED).
METHODS AND RESULTS: We performed a retrospective analysis of 57,200 LVAD-related ED patient encounters from the 2010 to 2018 Nationwide Emergency Department Sample. International Classification of Diseases Clinical Modification, Ninth Revision and Tenth Revision, codes identified patients aged 18 years or older with LVADs and associated primary and comorbidity diagnoses. Clinical characteristics and outcomes were stratified by sex and compared. Multivariable logistic regression was used to evaluate predictors of hospital admission and death. Female patient encounters comprised 27.2% of ED visits and occurred at younger ages and more frequently with obesity and depression (all P < .01). There were no sex differences in presentation for device complication, stroke, infection, or heart failure (all P > .05); however, female patient encounters were more often respiratory- and genitourinary or gynecological related (both P < .01). After adjustment for age group, diabetes, depression, and hypertension, male patient encounters had a 38% increased odds of hospital admission (95% confidence interval 1.20-1.58), but there was no sex difference in the adjusted odds of death (odds ratio 1.11, 95% confidence interval 0.86-1.45).
CONCLUSIONS: Patient encounters of females on LVAD support have significantly different comorbidities and outcomes compared with males. Further inquiry into these sex differences is imperative to improve long-term outcomes.