Octogenarians have worse clinical outcomes after thyroidectomy

Am J Surg. 2018 Dec;216(6):1171-1176. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2018.04.013. Epub 2018 Apr 22.


Background: The rising proportion of older adults in the US population coupled with an increased prevalence of nodular thyroid disease will result in more thyroidectomies being performed. The aim of this study is to evaluate the clinical outcomes among older adults (age ≥65) undergoing thyroidectomy compared to younger adults (18-64).

Methods: This was a population-based study of adult thyroidectomy patients using the Premier Healthcare Database, 2005-2014. Discharge status, hospital length of stay (LOS), morbidity, and total patient charge were compared between younger adults and older adults in three different age groups: ≥65, ≥70, and ≥80 years old.

Results: Among 75,141 thyroidectomy patients, 15,805 (21.0%) patients were ≥65 years, 8834 (11.8%) were ≥70 years, and 1613 (2.2%) were ≥80 years. Patients ≥80 years were 2.6 times (aOR:2.58, 95%CI: 1.72-3.86; p < 0.001) more likely to be discharged to a home health organization than to be discharged to their residence and 1.6 times (aOR:1.61, 95%CI: 1.30-2.00; p < 0.001) more likely to have at least one complication.

Conclusions: Age ≥80 is an independent predictor of worse clinical outcomes after thyroidectomy.

Keywords: Epidemiology; Older patients; Premier database; Surgery; Thyroidectomy.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Thyroid Diseases / complications
  • Thyroid Diseases / mortality
  • Thyroid Diseases / surgery*
  • Thyroidectomy / adverse effects*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult