A review of current reporting of abdominal aortic aneurysm mortality and prevalence in the literature

P.W. Stather, D.A. Sidloff, I.A. Rhema, E. Choke, M.J. Bown, R.D. Sayers

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68 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background
It is common for authors to introduce a paper by demonstrating the importance of the clinical condition being addressed, usually by quoting data such as mortality and prevalence rates. Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) epidemiology is changing, and therefore such figures for AAA are subject to error. The aim of this study was to analyse the accuracy of AAA prevalence and mortality citations in the contemporaneous literature.

Methods
Two separate literature searches were performed using PubMed to identify studies reporting either aneurysm prevalence or mortality. The first 40 articles or those published over the last 2 years were included in each search to provide a snapshot of current trends. For a prevalence citation to be appropriate, a paper had to cite an original article publishing its own prevalence of AAA or a national report. In addition, the cited prevalence should match that published within the referenced article. These reported statistics were compared with the most recent data on aneurysm-related mortality.

Results
The prevalence of AAA was reported to be as low as 1% and as high as 12.7% (mean 5.7%, median 5%). Only 47.5% of studies had referenced original articles, national reports or NICE, and only 32.4% of cited prevalences matched those from the referenced article. In total 5/40 studies were completely accurate. 80% of studies cited aneurysm mortality in the USA, with the majority stating 15,000 deaths per year (range 9,000 to 30,000). Current USA crude AAA mortality is 6,289 (2010).

Conclusion
References for AAA mortality and prevalence reported in the current literature are often inaccurate. This study highlights the importance of accurately reporting mortality and prevalence data and using up-to-date citations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)240-242
JournalEuropean Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery
Volume47
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014

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