Send to

Choose Destination
Intensive Care Med. 2014 Jan;40(1):50-6. doi: 10.1007/s00134-013-3121-7. Epub 2013 Oct 17.

Outcome of elderly patients with circulatory failure.

Author information

Department of Intensive Care, CHU Charleroi, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Charleroi, Belgium.



The proportion of elderly patients admitted to the ICU is increasing. Mortality rates are known to increase with age but the impact of age on outcomes after circulatory shock has not been well defined.


We performed a secondary analysis of data from a large randomized trial comparing the effects of dopamine and norepinephrine on outcome in the ICU. Patients were separated into not old (<75 years), old (75-84 years), and very old (≥85 years).


Of the 1,679 patients included in the initial trial, 1,651 had sufficient age data available: 1,157 (70%) were not old, 410 (25%) were old, and 84 (5%) were very old. There were minor differences among the age groups in the APACHE II score calculated without the age component (not old, 17 ± 9; old, 18 ± 9; very old, 19 ± 9; p = 0.047), but SOFA scores were similar (not old, 9 ± 4; old, 9 ± 3; very old, 9 ± 3; p = 0.76). Mortality rates were higher in old and very old patients at 28 days, at hospital discharge, and after 6 and 12 months. Most very old patients were dead at 6 (92%) and 12 months (97%). Mortality rates increased with age in all types of shock. Using multivariable analysis, the risk of death was higher in very old patients as compared to not old (adjusted OR 0.33, 95% CI 0.2-0.56, p < 0.001).


Ageing is independently associated with higher mortality rates in patients with circulatory failure, whatever the etiology. By 1 year after admission, most patients 85 years of age and older were dead.

Comment in

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center