Preoperative dementia is associated with increased cost and complications after vascular surgery

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Abstract

Objective:

Dementia represents a major risk factor for medical complications and has been linked to higher rates of complication after surgery. Given the systemic nature of vascular disease, medical comorbidities significantly increase cost and complications after vascular surgery. We hypothesize that the presence of dementia is an independent predictor of increased postoperative complications and higher health care costs after vascular surgery.

Methods:

The Vascular Quality Initiative database was queried for all patients undergoing vascular surgery at a single academic medical center from 2012 to 2017. All modules were included (open abdominal aortic aneurysm, suprainguinal bypass, lower extremity bypass, amputation, carotid endarterectomy, endovascular aortic aneurysm repair, thoracic endovascular aortic aneurysm repair, and peripheral endovascular intervention). An institutional clinical data repository was queried to identify patients with International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision diagnosis codes for dementia as well as total hospital cost and long-term survival using Social Security records from the Virginia Department of Health. Hierarchical logistic and linear regression models were fit to assess risk-adjusted predictors of any complication and inflation-adjusted cost. Kaplan-Meier and Cox proportional hazards models were used for survival analysis.

Results:

A total of 2318 patients underwent vascular surgery and were captured by the Vascular Quality Initiative during the past 5 years, with 88 (3.8%) having a diagnosis of dementia. Patients with dementia were older and had higher rates of medical comorbidities, and the most common procedure was major amputation. In addition, dementia patients had a significantly higher rate of any complication (52% vs 16%; P < .0001) and increased 90-day mortality (14% vs 4.8%; P = .0002). Furthermore, dementia was associated with significant resource utilization, including preoperative length of stay (LOS), postoperative LOS, intensive care unit LOS, and inflation-adjusted total hospital cost (all P < .0001). Hierarchical modeling demonstrated that dementia was the strongest preoperative predictor for any complication (odds ratio, 8.64; P < .0001) and had the largest risk-adjusted impact on total hospital cost ($22,069; P < .0001). Finally, survival analysis demonstrated that dementia is independently associated with reduced survival after vascular surgery (hazard ratio, 1.37; P = .018).

Conclusions:

This study demonstrated that dementia is one of the strongest predictors of any complication and increased hospital cost after vascular surgery. Given the high risk of clinical and financial maladies, patients with dementia should be carefully considered and counseled before undergoing vascular surgery.

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