Pellikka PA, Padang R, Scott CG, Murphy SME, Fabunmi R, Thaden JJ. Impact of Managing Provider Type on Severe Aortic Stenosis Management and Mortality. J Am Heart Assoc. 2022;11(13):e025164. doi:10.1161/JAHA.121.025164
Many patients with symptomatic severe aortic stenosis do not undergo aortic valve replacement (AVR) despite clinical guidelines. This study analyzed the association of managing provider type with cardiac specialist follow‐up, AVR, and mortality for patients with newly diagnosed severe aortic stenosis (sAS).
Methods and Results
We identified adults with newly diagnosed sAS per echocardiography performed between January 2017 and March 2019 using Optum electronic health record data. We then selected from those meeting all eligibility criteria patients managed by a primary care provider (n=1707 [25%]) or cardiac specialist (n=5039 [75%]). We evaluated the association of managing provider type with cardiac specialist follow‐up, AVR, and mortality, as well as the independent association of cardiac specialist follow‐up and AVR with mortality, within 1 year of echocardiography detecting sAS. A subgroup analysis was limited to patients with symptomatic sAS. Patient characteristics and comorbidities at baseline were used for covariate‐adjusted cause‐specific and multivariable Cox proportional hazard models assessing group differences in outcomes by managing provider type. An adjusted Cox proportional hazard model with additional time‐dependent covariates for follow‐up and AVR was used to assess these practices’ association with mortality. Within 1 year of echocardiography detecting sAS, data revealed that primary care provider management was associated with lower rates of cardiac specialist follow‐up (hazard ratio [HR], 0.47 [95% CI, 0.43–0.50], P<0.0001) and AVR (HR, 0.58 [95% CI, 0.53–0.64], P<0.0001) and with higher 1‐year mortality (HR, 1.45 [95% CI, 1.26–1.66], P<0.0001). Cardiac specialist follow‐up and AVR were independently associated with lower mortality (follow‐up: HR, 0.55 [95% CI, 0.48–0.63], P<0.0001; AVR: HR, 0.70 [95% CI, 0.60–0.83], P<0.0001). Results were similar for patients with symptomatic sAS. All analyses were adjusted for baseline patient characteristics and comorbidities.
For patients newly diagnosed with sAS, we observed differences in rates of cardiac specialist follow‐up and AVR and risk of mortality between primary care provider‐ versus cardiologist‐managed patients with sAS. In addition, a lower likelihood of receiving follow‐up and AVR was independently associated with higher mortality.