Background: Since patients with diabetes mellitus have increased rates of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, it is critical to evaluate cardiovascular risk perioperatively. Although several preoperative risk indices have been developed, including the Goldman and Detsky indices, none have been designed specifically for diabetic patients. In this study, we attempted to identify predictors of postoperative cardiac and noncardiac complications in diabetic patients undergoing elective general surgery.
Study design: A cohort of 107 diabetic patients undergoing elective surgery was assembled. Basic demographic and clinical data were recorded perioperatively, and all patients were followed up prospectively daily for 7 days postoperatively. Patients were interviewed at 5 years postoperatively. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to identify predictors of postoperative complications and long-term cardiac and vascular morbidity and mortality.
Results: Total cardiac complications and myocardial infarction were predicted by the Goldman index. Wound complications were not predicted by any of the variables studied. At 5 years postoperatively, cardiac and vascular deaths and events were predicted by age, history of myocardial infarction or stroke, presence of vascular disease, Goldman index, duration of diabetes or hypertension, Charlson comorbidity score, and postoperative myocardial infarction or cardiac arrest. Blood sugar control during surgery was not predictive of any short- or long-term cardiovascular complications.
Conclusions: Total cardiac complications had a significant preoperative predictor: the Goldman index. Both preoperative and postoperative variables and indices predicted long-term cardiac and vascular complications. Further study is necessary to investigate these relationships to better assess and manage the diabetic patient in the perioperative setting.