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Am J Surg. 1985 Jul;150(1):65-70.

Influence of age on mortality of colon surgery.


The geriatric population continues to grow and surgical decision making is often confused by the effect of aging. This study is part of an ongoing effort to determine surgical risk in the elderly population and to identify the significant factors affecting outcomes which could be used to plan surgical procedures. Records of 163 patients over 70 years of age with elective or emergency surgery (133 patients and 30 patients, respectively) were reviewed. There were 17 deaths. All deaths in a cohort of patients under 70 were examined as well. Ninety-five variables were explored to seek differences between groups. The patients who died, independent of age, were similar. Patients over 70 years of age who died differed from the survivors in many ways, both physiologically and in terms of disease state. Survivors were younger; did not have congestive heart failure; had better hepatic, renal, and pulmonary function; less extensive involvement if malignant disease was present; and fewer postoperative complications. If these factors were removed and only apparently normal physiologic characteristics considered, there were no differences in mortality between the patients over 70 years of age and younger patients. Age was less of a factor than physiologic status.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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