This study assesses risk factors in elderly vascular surgery patients and to evaluate whether perioperative cardiac medication can reduce postoperative mortality rate. In a cohort study, 1693 consecutive patients ≥65 years undergoing major non-cardiac vascular surgery were preoperatively screened for cardiac risk factors and medication. During follow-up (median: 8.2 years), mortality was noted. Hospital mortality occurred in 8.1% and long-term mortality in 28.5%. In multivariate analysis, age, coronary artery disease, heart failure, cerebrovascular disease, renal failure and diabetes were significantly associated with increased hospital and long-term mortality. Perioperative aspirin (OR: 0.53, 95% confidence interval: 0.34-0.83), β-blockers (OR: 0.32, 95% CI: 0.19-0.54) and statins (OR: 0.35, 95% CI: 0.18-0.68) were significantly associated with reduced hospital mortality. In addition, aspirin (HR: 0.65, 95% CI: 0.53-0.81), angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE)-inhibitors (HR: 0.74, 95% CI: 0.59-0.92), β-blockers (HR: 0.61, 95% CI: 0.48-0.76) and statins (HR: 0.65, 95% CI: 0.49-0.87) were significantly associated with reduced long-term mortality. Heterogeneity tests revealed a gradient decrease of mortality risk in patients from low to high age using statins (p = 0.03). In conclusion, age is an independent predictor of hospital and long-term mortality in elderly patients undergoing major vascular surgery. Aspirin, ACE-inhibitors, β-blockers and statins reduce long-term mortality risk. Especially the very elderly may benefit from statin therapy.

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Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Feringa, H.H.H, Bax, J.J, Karagiannis, S.E, Noordzij, P.G, van Domburg, R.T, Klein, J, & Poldermans, D. (2009). Elderly patients undergoing major vascular surgery: Risk factors and medication associated with risk reduction. Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, 48(1), 116–120. doi:10.1016/j.archger.2007.11.003