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Br J Anaesth. 2007 Dec;99(6):824-9. Epub 2007 Oct 24.

Determinants of outcome in critically ill octogenarians after surgery: an observational study.

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Department of Anaesthesia, Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, Barrack Road, Exeter EX2 5DW, UK.



The population in the UK is growing older and the number of elderly patients cared for on intensive care units (ICU) is increasing. This study was designed to identify risk factors for mortality in critically ill patients of >80 yr of age after surgery.


We identified 275 patients, aged 80 yr or greater, admitted to the ICU after surgery. After exclusions, 255 were selected for further analysis. Multivariate analysis was then performed to determine the covariates associated with hospital mortality.


The overall ICU and hospital mortality was 20.4% and 33.3%, respectively. Patients who received i.v. vasoactive drugs on days 1 and 2 had hospital mortality of 54.4% and 60.5%, respectively. Multivariate analysis showed that requirement for i.v. vasoactive drugs within the first 24 h on ICU [odds ratio (OR) 4.29; 95% CI, 2.35-7.84, P<0.001] and requirement for i.v. vasoactive drugs for a further 24 h (OR 3.63; 95% CI, 1.58-8.37, P<0.01) were associated with hospital mortality. The requirement for i.v. vasoactive drugs was also strongly associated with hospital mortality in all the subgroups studied (elective surgery, emergency surgery, and emergency laparotomy).


For patients aged 80 yr and more, admitted to ICU after surgery, the requirement for i.v. vasoactive drugs in the first and second 24 h was the strongest predictor of hospital mortality.

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