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Impact of age on perioperative complications and length of stay in patients undergoing noncardiac surgery.

  • Author(s): Polanczyk, CA
  • Marcantonio, E
  • Goldman, L
  • Rohde, LE
  • Orav, J
  • Mangione, CM
  • Lee, TH
  • et al.
Abstract

BACKGROUND:Major surgical procedures are performed with increasing frequency in elderly persons, but the impact of age on resource use and outcomes is uncertain. OBJECTIVE:To evaluate the influence of age on perioperative cardiac and noncardiac complications and length of stay in patients undergoing noncardiac surgery. DESIGN:Prospective cohort study. SETTING:Urban academic medical center. PATIENTS:Consecutive sample of 4315 patients 50 years of age or older who underwent nonemergent major noncardiac procedures. MEASUREMENTS:Major perioperative complications (cardiac and noncardiac), in-hospital mortality, and length of stay. RESULTS:Major perioperative complications occurred in 4.3% (44 of 1015) of patients 59 years of age or younger, 5.7% (93 of 1646) of patients 60 to 69 years of age, 9.6% (129 of 1341) of patients 70 to 79 years of age, and 12.5% (39 of 313) of patients 80 years of age or older (P < 0.001). In-hospital mortality was significantly higher in patients 80 years of age or older than in those younger than 80 years of age (0.7% vs. 2.6%, respectively). Multivariate analyses indicated an increased odds ratio for perioperative complications or in-hospital mortality in patients 70 to 79 years of age (1.8 [95% CI, 1.2 to 2.7]) and those 80 years of age or older (OR, 2.1 [CI, 1.2 to 3.6]) compared with patients 50 to 59 years of age. Patients 80 years of age or older stayed an average of 1 day more in the hospital, after adjustment for other clinical data (P = 0.001). CONCLUSIONS:Elderly patients had a higher rate of major perioperative complications and mortality after noncardiac surgery and a longer length of stay, but even in patients 80 years of age or older, mortality was low.

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