Quality of life in octogenarians after valve replacement due to aortic stenosis. A prospective comparison with younger patients

Eur Heart J. 1996 Apr;17(4):583-9. doi: 10.1093/oxfordjournals.eurheartj.a014912.


Background: Results of aortic valve surgery in octogenarians have been evaluated as event-free survival. However, little attention has been given to quality of life aspects.

Methods: Thirty-two consecutive patients, mean age 83 +/- 2 years, undergoing valve replacement due to aortic stenosis, were compared to 30 patients, mean age 71 +/- 3 years, undergoing the same procedure. Mortality, morbidity and quality of life were studied. An interview was performed before surgery and 3 and 12 months postoperatively. The questionnaire contained items related to self-rated health, symptoms, physical ability, sleep disturbances and social and emotional functioning.

Results: Pre-operatively the older patient group was in a worse condition with a higher NYHA functional class and a more pronounced cardiomegaly. They had more cardiac symptoms and were more depressed. The control group had a higher score for physical ability and rated their quality of life as better. Postoperatively there was a higher early mortality rate in the octogenarians (9% vs 0%; ns). After 3 months, improvement of functional status and relief of symptoms was observed in both groups. Physical ability improved and the depression score decreased significantly in both groups. Self-rated health and quality of life improved. One year after valve replacement the improvement in quality of life was of a similar magnitude in the two groups.

Conclusion: Following aortic valve replacement, octogenarians, despite a more compromised pre-operative status showed an improvement in symptomatology, physical ability and general well being, of a similar magnitude to that of the younger patients group. These findings lend further support to the recommendation that valve replacement should be performed in octogenarians with symptomatic aortic stenosis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aortic Valve Stenosis / epidemiology
  • Aortic Valve Stenosis / surgery*
  • Female
  • Heart Valve Prosthesis*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Morbidity
  • Postoperative Period
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome