It is hard to beat randomized clinical trials (RCTs) when comparing 2 treatment options. But how do results from RCTs reflect practice in the community?
In this issue of JAMA Surgery, Chang et al1 analyze morbidity and long-term mortality rates in all patients in California who underwent aortic aneurysm repair between 2001 and 2009. The study includes approximately 23 000 patients. The authors identified practice patterns and outcomes in the nonresearch setting, considering both community and teaching hospitals alike, and examined changes in outcomes over time. These are all obvious advantages of this population-based study.
Anderson JE, Holcroft JW. A Population Analysis of Aortic Aneurysm Repair—Better Than Randomized Clinical Trials?. JAMA Surg. 2015;150(12):1166. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2015.2651