Sex Differences in Outcomes of Patients With Chronic Aortic Regurgitation: Closing the Mortality Gap

Li Tan Yang, Maurice Enriquez-Sarano, Patricia A. Pellikka, Prabin Thapa, Christopher G. Scott, Judy W. Hung, Hector I. Michelena

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To examine contemporary clinical differences between men and women with hemodynamically significant chronic aortic regurgitation (AR). Patients and Methods: We retrospectively identified 1072 consecutive patients with moderate to severe or severe AR diagnosed between February 21, 2004, and April 29, 2019. Echocardiographic data, aortic valve surgical intervention (AVS), and all-cause death were analyzed. Results: At baseline, the 189 women in the study group were older than the 883 men (mean ± SD age, 64±18 years vs 58±17 years), had more advanced symptoms, and had larger left ventricular end-systolic dimension index (LVESDi) (all P<.001) despite similar AR severity. An LVESDi of greater than 20 mm/m2 was noted in 60 of 92 asymptomatic women (65%) vs 225 of 559 asymptomatic men (40%) (P<.001). Median follow-up was 5.6 years (interquartile range, 2.5 to 10.0 years). Female sex was associated with less AVS (P=.009), and overall 10-year survival was better in men (76%±2%) than in women (64%±5%) (P=.004). However, 10-year post-AVS survival was similar between the sexes (P=.86), and women had better left ventricular reverse remodeling than men regarding end-diastolic dimension (P=.02). Multivariable independent predictors of death were age, advanced symptoms, LVESDi, ejection fraction, and AVS (all P≤.03) but not female sex. When compared with the age-matched US population, women exhibited a 1.3-fold increased relative risk of death (P=.0383) while men had similar survival (P=.11). Conclusion: In contemporary practice, women with AR continue to exhibit an overall survival penalty not related to female sex but to late referral markers, including more advanced symptoms, larger LVESDi, and less AVS. Nonetheless, women in our study exhibited outstanding post-AVS left ventricular remodeling and had good post-AVS survival, a step forward toward closing the sex-related mortality gap. The high percentage of LVESDi of 20 mm/m2 or greater in asymptomatic women represents a window of opportunity for advanced-symptom prevention and timely AR surgical correction that may close the mortality gap.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2145-2156
Number of pages12
JournalMayo Clinic proceedings
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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