Abstract 16348: Do Arrhythmia Symptoms and Outcomes Differ by Gender After Ablation?
Background: Women with arrhythmias once diagnosed, continue to have a difficult time being referred for curative ablation procedures as quickly as men, perhaps because providers sense that women have poorer outcomes from this procedure. It remains unclear which symptom experiences and aspects of quality of life (QoL) change after ablation in patients with arrhythmias and how these changes may differ by gender.
Methods: Arrhythmia patients (n=791) were sent questionnaires (EQ5D and disease specific measures) at a mean follow up time of 7.1months (range 2-16 months) following their ablation procedures for all arrhythmia substrates. There was a 72% response rate (N=568, mean age 57.8±15.2 yrs, 43% female).
Results: Significant improvement after ablation was noted in virtually all measures (p < 0.001). Patients reported reductions from baseline in frequency and duration of episodes, number of symptoms, and impact of arrhythmia on routine activities (table below). Women reported a higher symptom burden (Symptom Severity Score 14.2 vs 10.9, p<0.001) and greater effect on social activities (Social Impact Score 11.6 vs 10.6, p=0.04) at baseline. Compared to men, women reported greater improvement in symptom scores (9.3 vs 6.1, p<0.001) and greater improvement in social impact scores (7.7 vs 5.7, p<0.001) after ablation. There were no significant gender differences in the total QoL scores before and after ablation.
Conclusions: Statistically significant improvement was found following ablation in a variety of symptoms and social impact indices in women, suggesting that they benefit at least as much as men from this treatment.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.