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Publication Detail
Disability and distress following cardiac surgery in patients over 70 years of age.
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
    Journal Article
  • Authors:
    Kallis P, Unsworth-White J, Munsch C, Gallivan S, Smith EE, Parker DJ, Pepper JR, Treasure T
  • Publication date:
  • Pagination:
    306, 311
  • Journal:
    Eur J Cardiothorac Surg
  • Volume:
  • Issue:
  • Status:
  • Country:
  • Print ISSN:
  • Language:
  • Keywords:
    Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Coronary Artery Bypass, Coronary Disease, Disability Evaluation, Female, Heart Valve Diseases, Heart Valve Prosthesis, Humans, Male, Postoperative Complications, Quality of Life, Retrospective Studies
We have reviewed the outcome in a consecutive series of 254 patients over the age of 70 undergoing cardiac surgery between 1987-89. Of the patients, 62% were male and the median age was 73 years. Operations included: coronary bypass 57%, valve replacement 26%, combinations 14% and other procedures 3%. The hospital mortality was 7.5% and late mortality was 13.8%. Complications included: intraaortic balloon 6%, resternotomy for bleeding 4%, permanent pacing 3%, chest infection 14%, tracheostomy 5%, major cerebrovascular events 3% and minor 4%. Eighty-two percent left the intensive care unit within 24 h and 89% left hospital within 8 days. Two questionnaires (York University) were sent to 207 patients believed to be alive in order to evaluate the change in their quality of life following surgery. Of the 207 questionnaires 197 (95%) were returned, 7 of which were from relatives of patients who had died and 7 were incomplete. The responses of 183 assessable patients (at a mean follow-up of 36 months) were converted into Rosser disability (I-VIII) and distress (A-D) groups. There was a decrease in disability and distress in 60% and 67%, respectively, no change in 34% and 30% and deterioration in 6% and 3%. Cardiac surgery can be carried out in elderly patients with an acceptable early morbidity and mortality, and although many patients show sustained improvement in their quality of life, this was not demonstrated in about a third of patients. As the emphasis in the elderly should be on quality of life we ought to continue to concentrate on careful selection in this age group.
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