Background and aim of the study: The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate both long-term functional status and quality of life (QoL) following valvular replacement surgery in octogenarians. The influence of gender and discharge location was also examined.
Methods: A total of 133 patients (age range: 80-89 years) who underwent surgical valve replacement between January 2003 and December 2006 was identified. Two questionnaires evaluating QoL (SF-12v2 and MLHFQ), as well as a demographic questionnaire, were sent to these patients.
Results: The response rate was 64.4%. Among the participants, the mean NYHA functional class improved from 2.7 to 1.4 after surgery. Men showed results similar to those of the age-matched general Canadian population on the mental and physical component scales of the SF-12v2. The data on women were similar to those of the general population on the physical component scale, but their scores were significantly lower on the mental component scale of the SF-12v2. Further analysis of the results comparing discharge location for each gender revealed that women discharged to a convalescence resource had significantly better QoL scores than those discharged to home with regards to the physical component scale of the SF-12v2, the total score of the MLHFQ, and the physical dimension score of the MLHFQ.
Conclusion: Patients aged > or = 80 years benefit from heart valve replacement surgery in terms of both QoL and functional status. Women may be at increased risk of a decline in their emotional well-being and, postoperatively, may benefit more from convalescence than from discharge to home.