Background Decreased cancer specific survival in older colorectal patients is mainly due to mortality in the first year, emphasizing the importance of the first postoperative year. This study aims to gain an overview and time trends of short-term mortality in octogenarians (≥80 years) with colorectal cancer across four North European countries.

Methods Patients of 80 years or older, operated for colorectal cancer (stage I-III) between 2005 and 2014, were included. Population-based cohorts from Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Sweden were collected. Separately for colon- and rectal cancer, 30-day, 90-day, one-year, and excess one-year mortality were calculated. Also, short-term mortality over three time periods (2005–2008, 2009–2011, 2012–2014) was analyzed.

Results In total, 35,158 colon cancer patients and 10,144 rectal cancer patients were included. For colon cancer, 90-day mortality rate was highest in Denmark (15%) and lowest in Sweden (8%). For rectal cancer, 90-day mortality rate was highest in Belgium (11%) and lowest in Sweden (7%). One-year excess mortality rate of colon cancer patients decreased from 2005 to 2008 to 2012–2014 for all countries (Belgium: 17%–11%, Denmark: 21%–15%, the Netherlands: 18%–10%, and Sweden: 10%–8%). For rectal cancer, from 2005 to 2008 to 2012–2014 one-year excess mortality rate decreased in the Netherlands from 16% to 7% and Sweden: 8%–2%).

Conclusions Short-term mortality rates were high in octogenarians operated for colorectal cancer. Short-term mortality rates differ across four North European countries, but decreased over time for both colon and rectal cancer patients in all countries.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Colorectal cancer, Short-term mortality, Elderly, Octogenarians
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Journal European Journal of Surgical Oncology
Claassen, Y.H.M., Bastiaannet, E, van Eycken, E., Van Damme, N., Martling, A., Johansson, R, … van de Velde, C.J.H. (2019). Time trends of short-term mortality for octogenarians undergoing a colorectal resection in North Europe. European Journal of Surgical Oncology, 45(8), 1396–1402. doi:10.1016/j.ejso.2019.03.041