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Heart Failure Raises Post-Surgery Risk of Death in Elderly

Also increases risk of hospital readmission

WEDNESDAY, March 26 (HealthDay News) -- Elderly patients with heart failure who undergo major non-cardiac surgery are at higher risk of death or hospital readmission than elderly patients with other problems, researchers report in the April issue of Anesthesiology.

Bradley G. Hammill, from the Duke Clinical Research Institute in Durham, N.C., and colleagues examined short-term outcomes among 159,327 major non-cardiac surgery procedures performed in elderly patients (65 years and older) with heart failure (18 percent), coronary artery disease (34 percent), or neither.

The researchers found that the risk of operative mortality and 30-day all-cause hospital readmission was higher in patients with heart failure (adjusted hazard ratio 1.63 and 1.51, respectively, compared to patients without heart failure or coronary artery disease) or coronary artery disease (adjusted hazard ratio 1.08 and 1.16, respectively, compared to patients without heart failure or coronary artery disease).

"Elderly patients with heart failure who undergo major surgical procedures have substantially higher risks of operative mortality and hospital readmission than other patients, including those with coronary disease, admitted for the same procedures," Hammill and colleagues conclude.

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