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Mechanical Ventilation Tied to Greater Disability in Elderly

Older hospitalized patients more likely have disability later if they receive mechanical ventilation

THURSDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Elderly patients whose hospitalization includes a bout of mechanical ventilation (MV) may be more likely than hospitalized peers who do not experience MV to suffer long-term disabilities after leaving the hospital, according to research published online Nov. 5 in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Amber E. Barnato, M.D., M.P.H., of the University of Pittsburgh, and colleagues reviewed data from about 12,000 person-years (PY) over a seven-year period, including 11,347 PY involving hospitalization without MV and 534 PY involving hospitalization with MV; patients were aged 65 and older. The objective of the study was to compare long-term functional outcomes in elderly survivors of MV and determine the impact on disability of hospitalization with and without MV.

The researchers found that mortality at one year was 72.5 and 23.9 percent in those with and without MV, respectively, and those hospitalized with MV experienced a substantially higher level of disability at the one-year assessment than those hospitalized without MV.

"The greater marginal increase in disability among survivors of MV compared to survivors of hospitalization without MV is larger than would be predicted from prior functional status," the authors write.

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