Investigating the impact of age on outcome of mechanical ventilation using a population of 41,848 patients from a statewide database

Chest. 1995 Jun;107(6):1673-80. doi: 10.1378/chest.107.6.1673.


Study objective: To examine the impact of age on outcome from mechanical ventilation.

Design: Retrospective analysis of a statewide database.

Setting: All acute-care hospitals in New York State.

Patients: All patients, aged 18 years and over, requiring mechanical ventilation during 1990 who could be identified with a mechanical ventilation procedure code (93.92) were studied. Data were obtained in aggregate form (six or more cases) from the New York State Department of Health. This process required a detailed request letter to the Statewide Planning and Cooperative System (SPARCS). Transmission of confidential information was not desired or permitted.

Measurements and results: Age and mortality rate (MR) fit a cuboidal regression model best (MR = -25.55 + 3.98Age - 0.072Age2 + 0.00043Age3, R2 = 0.85). Mortality rates vary significantly across various broad diagnostic groups (p < 0.01, analysis of variance [ANOVA]) and increase as a function of ICU duration (p < 0.01, ANOVA).

Conclusions: Age has an important effect on outcome from mechanical ventilation. Other factors, such as ICU duration and diagnosis, also influence outcome, and age should not be used as a sole criterion in evaluating the potential benefit of mechanical ventilation to an individual patient. Large, existing databases, such as SPARCS, may be useful in studying the application of mechanical ventilation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Length of Stay
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Discharge
  • Respiration, Artificial* / mortality
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome