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Geriatric Events in Cancer Surgery Common in Elderly

Particularly among those who undergo major abdominal surgery

elderly hospital patient

THURSDAY, Feb. 18, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Geriatric events are common among elderly patients who undergo major surgery for cancer, according to research published online Feb. 16 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Hung-Jui Tan, M.D., of the University of California in Los Angeles, and colleagues examined Nationwide Inpatient Sample data from 2009 to 2011 for elderly patients, aged 65 years and older, who were undergoing major cancer surgery, and a referent group aged 55 to 64 years. The burden of geriatric events, including delirium, dehydration, falls and fractures, failure to thrive, and pressure ulcers, was assessed.

The researchers found that geriatric events occurred most often among patients aged 75 years or older, with a Charlson comorbidity score ≥2, who were undergoing surgery for cancer of the bladder, ovary, colon and/or rectum, pancreas, or stomach (P < 0.001). After adjustment for patient and hospital characteristics, patients who had a geriatric event were more likely to have concurrent complications (odds ratio [OR], 3.73; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 3.55 to 3.92), prolonged hospitalization (OR, 5.47; 95 percent CI, 5.16 to 5.80), high costs of care (OR, 4.97; 95 percent CI, 4.58 to 5.39), inpatient mortality (OR, 3.22; 95 percent CI, 2.94 to 3.53), and discharge to other than home (OR, 3.64; 95 percent CI, 3.46 to 3.84).

"In conclusion, geriatric events arise regularly after cancer surgery, especially for the very old and sick and those who require major abdominal surgery," the authors write.

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