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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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