Multidimensional Frailty Score for the Prediction of Postoperative Mortality Risk

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The number of geriatric patients who undergo surgery has been increasing, but there are insufficient tools to predict postoperative outcomes in the elderly.


To design a predictive model for adverse outcomes in older surgical patients.


From October 19, 2011, to July 31, 2012, a single tertiary care center enrolled 275 consecutive elderly patients (aged ≥65 years) undergoing intermediate-risk or high-risk elective operations in the Department of Surgery.


The primary outcome was the 1-year all-cause mortality rate. The secondary outcomes were postoperative complications (eg, pneumonia, urinary tract infection, delirium, acute pulmonary thromboembolism, and unplanned intensive care unit admission), length of hospital stay, and discharge to nursing facility.


Twenty-five patients (9.1%) died during the follow-up period (median [interquartile range], 13.3 [11.5-16.1] months), including 4 in-hospital deaths after surgery. Twenty-nine patients (10.5%) experienced at least 1 complication after surgery and 24 (8.7%) were discharged to nursing facilities. Malignant disease and low serum albumin levels were more common in the patients who died. Among the geriatric assessment domains, Charlson Comorbidity Index, dependence in activities of daily living, dependence in instrumental activities of daily living, dementia, risk of delirium, short midarm circumference, and malnutrition were associated with increased mortality rates. A multidimensional frailty score model composed of the above items predicted all-cause mortality rates more accurately than the American Society of Anesthesiologists classification (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve, 0.821 vs 0.647; P = .01). The sensitivity and specificity for predicting all-cause mortality rates were 84.0% and 69.2%, respectively, according to the model’s cutoff point (>5 vs ≤5). High-risk patients (multidimensional frailty score >5) showed increased postoperative mortality risk (hazard ratio, 9.01; 95% CI, 2.15-37.78; P = .003) and longer hospital stays after surgery (median [interquartile range], 9 [5-15] vs 6 [3-9] days; P < .001).


The multidimensional frailty score based on comprehensive geriatric assessment is more useful than conventional methods for predicting outcomes in geriatric patients undergoing surgery.

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