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JAMA Intern Med. 2015 Apr;175(4):523-9. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.7889.

Functional trajectories among older persons before and after critical illness.

Author information

1
Section of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.

Abstract

IMPORTANCE:

Little is known about functional trajectories of older persons in the year before and after admission to the intensive care unit (ICU) or how pre-ICU functional trajectories affect post-ICU functional trajectories and death.

OBJECTIVES:

To characterize functional trajectories in the year before and after ICU admission and to evaluate the associations among pre-ICU functional trajectories and post-ICU functional trajectories, short-term mortality, and long-term mortality.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS:

Prospective cohort study of 754 community-dwelling persons 70 years or older, conducted between March 23, 1998, and December 31, 2012, in greater New Haven, Connecticut. The analytic sample included 291 participants who had at least 1 admission to an ICU through December 2011.

MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES:

Functional trajectories in the year before and after an ICU admission based on 13 basic, instrumental, and mobility activities. Additional outcomes included short-term (30 day) and long-term (1 year) mortality.

RESULTS:

The mean (SD) age of participants was 83.7 (5.5) years. Three distinct pre-ICU functional trajectories identified were minimal disability (29.6%), mild to moderate disability (44.0%), and severe disability (26.5%). Seventy participants (24.1%) experienced early death, defined as death in the hospital (50 participants [17.2%]) or death after hospital discharge but within 30 days of admission (20 participants [6.9%]). Among the remaining 221 participants, 3 distinct post-ICU functional trajectories identified were minimal disability (20.8%), mild to moderate disability (28.1%), and severe disability (51.1%). More than half of the participants (53.4%) experienced functional decline or early death after critical illness. The pre-ICU functional trajectories of mild to moderate disability and severe disability were associated with more than double (adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 2.41; 95% CI, 1.29-4.50) and triple (adjusted HR, 3.84; 95% CI, 1.84-8.03) the risk of death within 1 year of ICU admission, respectively. Other factors associated with 1-year mortality included ICU length of stay (adjusted HR, 1.03; 95% CI, 1.00-1.05), mechanical ventilation (adjusted HR, 2.89; 95% CI, 1.91-4.37), and shock (adjusted HR, 2.68; 95% CI, 1.63-4.38).

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE:

Among older persons with critical illness, more than half died within 1 month or experienced significant functional decline over the following year, with particularly poor outcomes in those who had high levels of premorbid disability. These results may help to inform discussions about prognosis and goals of care before and during critical illness.

PMID:
25665067
PMCID:
PMC4467795
DOI:
10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.7889
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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