Association of Geriatric Events With Perioperative Outcomes After Elective Inpatient Surgery

J Surg Res. 2021 Mar;259:192-199. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2020.11.011. Epub 2020 Dec 7.


Background: Older adults undergoing surgery are at risk for geriatric events (GEs: delirium, dehydration, falls or fractures, failure to thrive, and pressure ulcers). The prevalence and association of GEs with clinical outcomes after elective surgery is unclear.

Materials and methods: Using the 2013-2014 National Inpatient Sample, we analyzed hospital admissions for the five most common elective procedures (total knee arthroplasty, right hemicolectomy, carotid endarterectomy, aortic valve replacement, and radical prostatectomy) in older adults (age ≥ 65). Our primary variable of interest was presence of any GE. Logistic regression estimated the association of GEs with (1) age group and (2) perioperative outcomes (mortality, postoperative complications, prolonged length of stay, and discharge to skilled nursing facility).

Results: Of 1,255,120 admissions, 66.5% were aged ≥65. The overall rate of any GE was 2.4% and increased with age (55-64 y: 1.5%; 65-74: 2.2%; ≥75: 4.1%; P < 0.001). After adjustment, the probability of any GE increased with age (P < 0.001). Rates of GEs varied by procedure (P < 0.001). In comparison with admissions with no GEs, one or more GE was associated with higher probability of worse outcomes including mortality, postoperative complications, prolonged length of stay, and discharge to skilled nursing facility (all P < 0.001). In addition, there was a dose-dependent relationship between GEs and these poor perioperative outcomes.

Conclusions: GEs are strongly associated with poor perioperative outcomes. Efforts should focus on mutable factors responsible for GEs to optimize surgical care for older adults.

Keywords: Elderly; Elective surgery; Frailty; Geriatric events; Geriatric surgery; Older adults.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / statistics & numerical data*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Delirium / epidemiology*
  • Elective Surgical Procedures / adverse effects*
  • Failure to Thrive / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inpatients
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology*
  • Pressure Ulcer / epidemiology*