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J Crit Care. 2013 Aug;28(4):413-20. doi: 10.1016/j.jcrc.2012.12.010. Epub 2013 Feb 19.

The impact of age on outcome after major surgical procedures.

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  • 1Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care, Friedrich-Schiller University Hospital, Jena, Germany.



The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of age on outcome in a large cohort of surgical intensive care unit (ICU) patients.


In this retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data, all 11537 adult patients admitted directly from the operating room to our 50-bed surgical ICU between January 1, 2004, and January 31, 2009, were included. Patients were classified into 5 subgroups according to age (18-50 [reference category], 51-65, 66-75, 76-85, >85 years).


Severity scores and the incidence of comorbid conditions on ICU admission increased steadily with age. Intensive care unit and hospital mortality rates were 4.4% and 8.7%, respectively, and increased with age to reach 12.4% and 28.2%, respectively, in patients older than 85 years. In multivariate logistic regression analysis, age was an independent risk factor for in-hospital death (odds ratio, 1.04; 95% confidence interval, 1.03-1.04, per year; P < .001). Gastrointestinal surgery was independently associated with a higher risk of in-hospital mortality in patients older than 50 years, whereas neurosurgery was associated with a higher risk of in-hospital death only in patients older than 65 years.


Mortality rates increase with age, with an exponential increase in patients older than 65 years. Age is an independent risk factor for in-hospital death, irrespective of the type of surgical intervention.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Age; Intensive care; Outcome

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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