Age does not limit quality of life improvement in cardiac valve surgery

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2003 Oct 1;42(7):1208-14. doi: 10.1016/s0735-1097(03)00949-5.


Objectives: We sought to determine the association of age with the change in quality of life (QOL) after valve surgery.

Background: Improvement in QOL is one of the principal goals of valve surgery. These procedures are being done with increasing frequency for older patients.

Methods: We prospectively studied 148 patients with aortic valve procedures and 72 patients with mitral valve procedures. Patients' QOL was measured at baseline and at 18 months using the Medical Outcomes Trust Short Form 36-Item (SF-36) Health Survey (response rate 90%). The association of age with change in QOL was measured by multiple regression analysis and based on two meta-scores of the SF-36: the Mental Component Summary (MCS) and the Physical Component Summary (PCS).

Results: Overall improvement in most domains of the SF-36, including the MCS and the PCS scores, was substantial. Improvement in the MCS score was not influenced by age in either aortic (0.09 score point improvement per 10-year age increments; p = 0.9) or mitral (0.90 score point improvement per 10-year age increments; p = 0.3) patients. Similarly, improvement in the PCS score did not vary by age in aortic patients (-1.00 score points per 10-year age increments; p = 0.2) and only slightly varied by age in mitral patients (-1.90 score points per 10-year age increments, p = 0.02). In the latter, despite statistical significance, the association was not substantial or clinically important.

Conclusions: Among patients referred for cardiac valve surgery, age does not appear to limit the QOL benefits of surgery.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aging*
  • Aortic Valve*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Connecticut
  • Female
  • Heart Valve Diseases / psychology*
  • Heart Valve Diseases / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mitral Valve*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Postoperative Period
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires