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J Rehabil Res Dev. 2006 Nov-Dec;43(7):917-28.

Risk factors associated with mortality in veteran population following transtibial or transfemoral amputation.

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Samuel S. Stratton Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center (VAMC), 113 Holland Avenue, Albany, NY 12208, USA.


This study explored medical conditions associated with mortality among veterans following transfemoral amputation, transtibial amputation, or hip disarticulation. We applied logistic regression models to identify clinical factors associated with mortality postoperatively. The participants included patients with lower-limb amputations (n = 2,375) who were discharged from Veterans Health Administration hospitals between October 1, 2002, and September 30, 2003. Most (98.9%) were male. We measured cumulative in-hospital, 3-month, and 1-year mortality. The results were 180 in-hospital deaths, 368 by 3 months, and 634 by the 1-year postsurgical amputation date. Those who had perioperative systemic sepsis (odds ratio = 4.28, 95% confidence interval = 2.87-6.39) had more than a fourfold increased likelihood of in-hospital mortality. Congestive heart failure, renal failure, and liver disease were significantly associated with mortality at all time periods. Metastatic cancer was associated only at 3 months and 1 year. We concluded that high medical complexity and mortality rates attest to the need for careful medical oversight during the postacute rehabilitation period.

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