Socioeconomic status is not associated with unfavorable outcomes in patients with acute limb ischemia

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OBJECTIVE: Whether socioeconomic status (SES) is associated with health outcomes in patients with acute limb ischemia (ALI) is largely unknown. We aimed to determine whether SES is associated with worse presentations and outcomes for patients with ALI.

METHODS: We performed a retrospective medical record review of patients who presented with ALI between April 2016 and October 2020 at a single tertiary care center. SES was quantified using individual variables (median household income, level of education, and employment) and a composite endpoint, the neighborhood deprivation index (NDI). The NDI is a standardized and reproducible index that uses census tract data (higher number indicates lower SES status). The NDI summarizes 8 domains of socioeconomic deprivation. ALI severity was categorized using the Rutherford classification. The association between SES and the severity of ALI at presentation and between SES and other health outcomes were analyzed using bivariate analysis of variance, independent t test, and multivariate logistic regression.

RESULTS: During the study period, 278 patients were treated for ALI, of whom 211 had complete SES data available. The mean age was 64 years, 55% were men, and 57% were White. The Rutherford classification of disease severity was grade 1, 2a, 2b, and 3 for 6%, 54%, 32%, and 8% of patients, respectively. Patients with a low SES status per the NDI were more likely to have a history of peripheral arterial disease and chronic kidney disease at presentation. The ALI etiology (thrombotic vs embolic) was not associated with SES. No significant differences were seen between SES and the severity of ALI at presentation (p = 0.96) or the treatment modality (p = 0.80). No associations between SES and 30-day or 1-year mortality were observed (mean NDI, 0.15 vs 0.26, p = 0.58, and 0.20 vs 0.26, p = 0.71, respectively) or between SES and 30-day or 1-year limb loss (mean NDI, 0.06 vs 0.30, p = 0.18, and 0.1 vs 0.32, p = 0.17, respectively). Lower SES (higher NDI) was associated with increased 30-day readmission (mean NDI, 0.49 vs 0.15, p = 0.021). However, this association was not significant on multivariate analysis (odds ratio 1.4, 95% CI 0.9-2.1, p = 0.06).

CONCLUSIONS: SES was not associated with the severity of ALI at patient presentation. Although SES was associated with the presence of peripheral arterial disease and chronic kidney disease at presentation, SES was not a predictor of short-term or 1-year limb loss and mortality. Overall, ALI presentation and treatment outcomes were independent of SES.

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ePub ahead of print

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