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    Tuesday, October 18, 2011

    About 2 million older adults undergo abdominal surgeries in the U.S. every year, a number that's expected to grow as the proportion of older adults increases rapidly: by 2020, one in six adults is expected to be older than 65, and 15% will be over 85.
    The patient records came from the Comprehensive Hospital Abstract Reporting System, a state-wide database that contains information on the age, sex, zip code, and billed charges of patients, as well as the codes for their diagnosis and procedures.
    The study focused on complications that occurred within 90 days of discharge and deaths within 90 days of hospital admission.

    After adjusting for various factors, including hospital volume and patient characteristics, the study found that the odds of early death after abdominal surgery increased considerably for each five-year increase in age beyond 65. These associations held for patients with cancer and other diagnoses, and for both elective and nonelective procedures (P<0.001).

    The likelihood of complications increased as patients aged beyond 65 years, with the researchers finding the following associations between age and complication frequency (trend test, P<0.001):

    • 65 to 69 years, 14.6%
    • 70 to 74 years, 16.1%
    • 75 to 79 years, 18.8%
    • 80 to 84 years, 19.9%
    • 85 to 89 years, 22.6%
    • 90 and older, 22.7%

    Similarly, older patients were at higher risk of mortality. Death rates by age group were (trend test, P<0.001):

    • 65 to 69 years, 2.5%
    • 70 to 74 years, 3.8%
    • 75 to 79 years, 6.0%
    • 80 to 84 years, 8.1%
    • 85 to 89 years, 12.6%
    • 90 and older, 16.7%

    Massarweh N, et al "Impact of advancing age on abdominal surgical outcomes" Arch Surg 2009; 144: 1108-14.

    Please remember, as with all our articles we provide information, not medical advice. For any treatment of your own medical condition you must visit your local doctor, with or without our article[s]. These articles are not to be taken as individual medical advice.

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