Outcomes and cost of cardiac surgery in octogenarians is related to type of operation: a multiinstitutional analysis

Ann Thorac Surg. 2011 Feb;91(2):499-505. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2010.10.059.


Background: Given recent economic implications in caring for an aging population, we sought to determine if postoperative complications and costs for octogenarians differed based on the type of cardiac operation.

Methods: From 2003 to 2008, patients who underwent cardiac operations at 16 different centers were identified from the Virginia Cardiac Surgery Quality Initiative and selected into two cohorts (<80 years and ≥80 years). Octogenarians (≥80 years) were stratified into isolated primary coronary bypass graft, aortic valve, mitral valve, or combined operation. Preoperative risks, outcomes, and costs were analyzed. Case-mix adjusted models for mortality and major complication rate were developed.

Results: We examined 45,731 patients, of which 3,079 were octogenarians (82.7 ± 2.5 years). Compared with younger patients, octogenarians incurred higher mortality (6.5% vs 3.1%, p < 0.001) and major complication rates (13.2% vs 8.4%, p < 0.001) with only incrementally higher total costs (p < 0.001). Among octogenarians mortality was similar despite the operation. Cross-clamp and cardiopulmonary bypass time (p < 0.001), hospital length of stay (p = 0.001), and major complication rate (p = 0.002) were highest for combined operation. Despite the fewest complications, mitral valve operation had the highest total costs (p < 0.001). Type of operation was not predictive of mortality or major complication rate. However, age, female gender, emergent status, and prolonged cardiopulmonary bypass time were independently associated with death despite risk-adjustment.

Conclusions: Advanced age confers increased risks and incrementally higher costs in patients undergoing cardiac operations. Isolated mitral and combined procedures have the highest complications and costs. Any proposed cardiac operation in octogenarians mandates careful consideration of resource utilization.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures / classification*
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures / economics*
  • Cardiopulmonary Bypass / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Resource Allocation
  • Risk Adjustment
  • Sex Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States