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Cerebrovasc Dis. 2010 Jan;29(2):154-61. doi: 10.1159/000262312. Epub 2009 Dec 1.

Postendarterectomy mortality in octogenarians and nonagenarians in the USA from 1993 to 1999.

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Section of Chronic Disease Epidemiology, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520-8034, USA. judith.lichtman @



Relatively little is known about trends in the utilization or outcomes of carotid endarterectomy (CEA) in the very elderly. We determined trends in the rates of CEA and perioperative (in-hospital and 30-day) and long-term (1-, 2-, 3-, 4- and 5-year) mortality in a US national sample of patients >or=80 years of age.


All fee-for-service Medicare patients (80-89 and >or=90 years of age) who had a CEA [ICD-9-CM (International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification): 38.12] from 1993 to 1999 were identified using the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Inpatient Standard Analytic Files. Demographic characteristics and comorbid conditions were determined using ICD-9-CM diagnostic codes within the year prior to the index hospitalization for CEA.


A total of 140,376 CEA were performed in patients aged 80-89 years and 6,446 in those aged >or=90 years during this 7-year period. The annual number of operations increased from 13,115 in 1993 to 21,582 in 1999 for octogenarians, and from 481 in 1993 to 1,257 in 1999 for nonagenarians. Perioperative mortality was 2.2% in octogenarians and 3.3% in nonagenarians. Long-term mortality increased by approximately 10% per year after the operation, and was 43% in octogenarians and 56% in nonagenarians at 5 years. Perioperative mortality rates remained relatively stable over the 7-year period for both age groups although comorbidities increased.


The number of CEA performed in the very elderly in the USA increased from 1993 to 1999. Perioperative mortality rates were high compared with trial results, while long-term survivorship was comparable to that of similarly-aged peers in the USA.

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