To analyze the short and long-term outcome of patients aged 65 years and over, after cardiac surgery. Over a 12-year period we analyzed 1750 patients with a mean age of 70.09 3.94 years. They were classified into three age groups: between 65 and 69 (n = 709), between 70 and 74 (n = 695) and 75 years and above (n = 346). Follow-up information was obtained by telephone conversation after a 6-month and 3-year period of discharge from the hospital. Included in the follow-up were 1235 patients and an interview was conducted with 501 (40.6%) patients or their next of kin.
Even though the in-hospital morbidity was highest in the oldest age group, there were no significant differences between groups (p = 0.051). There was no significant difference between groups in the length of hospital stay. The greatest in-hospital mortality was noted in the oldest age group (p = 0.046) compared to patients in the age groups between 65 and 69 and between 70 and 74 years old (p = 0.023 and p = 0.036). In the follow-up study, there was a significantly smaller telephone feedback response in the oldest age group compared to the youngest group (p = 0.003). There were no differences between the groups with respect to mortality and cardiac death after the 6-month and 3-year periods of discharge from hospital.
Our data showed that despite a poor short – and long-term outcome in patients aged 75 and over, all patients had an acceptable operative risk.
Key Words: elderly; outcome; cardiac surgery