FRIDAY, Sept. 17, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Rates of aortic valve replacement (AVR) increased in the past decade among patients with Alzheimer disease and related dementias (ADRD), according to a study published online Sept. 8 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Brent K. Hollenbeck, M.D., from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues retrospectively analyzed data for Medicare beneficiaries undergoing AVR between 2010 and 2016 to evaluate outcomes for those with or without a diagnosis of ADRD at the time of AVR.

The researchers found that the average rate of increase in AVR per year was 17.5 cases per 100,000 ADRD and 8.4 per 100,000 non-ADRD beneficiaries, largely driven by more rapid adoption of transcatheter AVR (TAVR). There were significant declines observed in adjusted mortality following AVR (with ADRD: from 13.5 percent in 2010 to 6.3 percent in 2016; without ADRD: from 13.7 percent in 2010 to 6.3 percent in 2016). Similar improvements were seen for Medicare institutional days in the year following AVR for both patient groups.

“The introduction of TAVR opened the possibility of treatment for aortic stenosis to the vulnerable population of patients with ADRD. Many of these patients were not candidates for surgical replacement as evidenced by the low rates of treatment in the early years of the study,” Hollenbeck said in a statement. “Importantly, in patients undergoing TAVR, one-year mortality in those with ADRD was very similar to that of other patients by the end of the study.”

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