Importance Left atrial appendage occlusion (LAAO) has emerged as an alternative to anticoagulation for select patients with atrial fibrillation; however, women have been underrepresented in clinical trials of LAAO, and sex-specific subanalyses are limited.
Objective To evaluate the sex differences in the baseline characteristics of patients undergoing LAAO implant and in the in-hospital outcomes after LAAO implant.
Design, Setting, and Participants A total of 49 357 patients in the National Cardiovascular Data Registry LAAO Registry undergoing LAAO with the Watchman device between January 1, 2016, and June 30, 2019, were included in this study.
Exposure Female or male sex.
Main Outcomes and Measures The primary outcomes were aborted or canceled procedure, major adverse event, any adverse event, prolonged hospital stay longer than 1 day, and death. Unadjusted and multivariable adjusted logistic regression analyses were performed to assess sex differences in in-hospital adverse events.
Results In this cohort study of 49 357 patients (mean [SD] age, 76.1 [8.0] years), 20 388 women (41.3%) and 28 969 (58.7%) men underwent LAAO. Compared with men, women were older and had a higher prevalence of paroxysmal atrial fibrillation, prior stroke, and uncontrolled hypertension but a lower prevalence of congestive heart failure, diabetes, and coronary artery disease. After multivariable adjustment, there were no differences in aborted or canceled procedures between women and men (613 [3.0%] vs 851 [2.9%]; odds ratio [OR] 1.01, 95% CI, 0.90-1.13). Women were more likely than men to experience any adverse event (1284 [6.3%] vs 1144 [3.9%]; P < .001; OR, 1.63; 95% CI, 1.49-1.77; P < .001) or major adverse event (827 [4.1%] vs 567 [2.0%]; P < .001; OR, 2.06; 95% CI, 1.82-2.34; P < .001) owing to pericardial effusion requiring drainage (241 [1.2%] vs 144 [0.5%]) or major bleeding (349 [1.7%] vs 244 [0.8%]). Women were also more likely than men to experience a hospital stay longer than 1 day (3272 [16.0%] vs 3355 [11.6%]; P < .001; adjusted OR, 1.46; 95% CI, 1.38-1.54; P < .001) or death (adjusted OR, 2.01; 95% CI, 1.31-3.09; P = .001), although death was rare and absolute differences were minimal (58 [0.3%] vs 37 [0.1%]; P < .001).
Conclusions and Relevance This study suggests that, compared with men, women have a significantly higher risk of in-hospital adverse events after LAAO. Further research aimed at risk reduction, particularly strategies to reduce the risk of pericardial effusion and major bleeding, in women undergoing LAAO is warranted.