Lower Socioeconomic Status Is Associated with Groin Wound Complications after Revascularization for Peripheral Artery Disease.


Department of Surgery, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. Electronic address: [Email]


BACKGROUND : Surgical site infections (SSIs) after lower extremity revascularization are a common cause of increased morbidity in patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD). Understanding the multifaceted risk factors for SSIs may suggest closer monitoring for certain patients. The objective of this study is to evaluate the risk factors associated with incidence of SSIs, including patient demographics, operative factors, and socioeconomic status.
METHODS : A retrospective review of a prospectively maintained database was queried for all patients who underwent any femoral exposure for the purposes of treating PAD from 2014 to 2017 at a single, academic, public hospital. Patient demographics, procedural data, and a variety of socioeconomic parameters were collected from chart review. Zip code geocoding was also used to obtain surrogates for local socioeconomic factors. The primary outcome measure was SSI within 90 days of operation.
RESULTS : A total of 136 patients were identified, of which 19 (14%) developed an SSI. The only demographic variable associated with an increased risk of infection was body mass index (24.8 vs 30.1, P < 0.05). Major preoperative comorbid conditions, smoking status, and insurance status were not associated with an increased risk of complications. In addition, the type of procedure performed [infrainguinal bypass (n = 68), femoral endarterectomy (n = 36), aortofemoral bypass (n = 17), femoral-femoral bypass (n = 8), axillofemoral bypass (n = 7)] was not associated with any trend toward SSI. Estimated blood loss (292 vs 463 mL, P < 0.05), postoperative glucose (169 vs 212, P < 0.05), and postoperative white blood cell count (13.6 vs 18.3, P < 0.05) were the only periprocedural variables associated with SSIs. Lower mean household income, mean family income, and per capita income were all associated with an increased risk of postoperative infection (all P < 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS : Socioeconomic factors, including poorer household income, are strongly associated with an increased risk of postoperative SSIs after lower extremity revascularization. Modifiable variables, such as preoperative optimization and procedural conduct, also display an effect on the development of an SSI. As a result, health care providers should maintain a high index of suspicion for the development of SSI in patients with lower socioeconomic status.