Surgical oncology outcomes in the aging US population Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Aging
  • Digestive System Surgical Procedures
  • Gastrointestinal Neoplasms
  • Postoperative Complications


  • © 2016 Elsevier Inc.Background As the population ages, an increasing number of older patients are undergoing major surgery. We examined the impact of advanced age on outcomes following major gastrointestinal cancer surgery in an era of improved surgical outcomes. Materials and methods This was a population-based, retrospective cohort study using the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database. We evaluated patients undergoing major abdominal gastrointestinal cancer surgery from 2005-2012. Multivariable logistic regression was performed to determine the independent effect of advanced age on outcomes. Our primary outcome was 30-d mortality, and our secondary outcomes were 30-d major postoperative adverse events, discharge disposition, length of stay, reoperation, and readmission. Results Elderly (≥65 y) patients were twice as likely to have multiple comorbidities as those <65 y but prevalence of comorbidities was similar across all older age groups. Mortality increased with age across all procedures (P < 0.05). The risk of advanced age on mortality was highest in hepatectomy (odds ratio = 5.17, 95% confidence interval = 2.19-12.20) and that for major postoperative adverse events was highest in proctectomy (odds ratio = 2.32, 95% confidence interval = 1.53-3.52). Patients were more likely to be discharged to an institutional care facility as age increased across all procedures (P < 0.01). Conclusions Despite being highly selected for surgery, elderly patients undergoing major gastrointestinal cancer surgery have substantially worse postoperative outcomes than younger patients (<65 y). The risk of age on postoperative outcomes was present across all operations but had its highest association with liver and rectal cancer resections.

publication date

  • September 2016



  • Academic Article



  • eng

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.jss.2016.04.038

PubMed ID

  • 27620993

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 11

end page

  • 18


  • 205


  • 1