Age 80 years and over is not associated with increased morbidity and mortality following pancreaticoduodenectomy

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The population aged 80 or over is increasing worldwide, constituting around 1% of the overall population1 and is predicted to increase four‐fold by 2050.1 This has imposed a new challenge for the healthcare system, given that 70% of cancer is expected to occur in the elderly.2 Pancreatic cancer has an incidence that increases with the age1 and therefore surgical options such as pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD) need to be considered more frequently in the elderly.
In the last two decades, the outcomes of PD have improved with better surgical techniques and optimal post‐operative care of patients.1 Given that pancreatic cancer has a poor prognosis, offering major surgery to elderly patients has been considered controversial.1 It is estimated that the 5‐year survival rate after resection of pancreatic cancer is only 12–24%.5 There are several recent studies from the United States, Germany and Italy1 that have retrospectively analysed data on outcomes of elderly patients treated by PD compared with younger subgroups generally suggesting greater post‐operative complications and mortality in the older group. As far as we are aware, there have been no Australian series that have reported on such an outcome that will allow comparisons with other reported literature.
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