Gait speed predicts post-operative medical complications in elderly gastric cancer patients undergoing gastrectomy

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Gait speed is a clinical outcome that can measure the physical performance of elderly gastric patients. The purpose of this study was to determine the importance of gait speed in predicting post-operative morbidities in elderly patients undergoing curative gastrectomy.


We conducted a prospective study of 357 elderly patients (≥65 years old) undergoing curative gastrectomy. Preoperative gait speed was measured in a 6-m well-lit and unobstructed hallway. Patients were followed up for the post-operative clinical outcomes. Factors contributing to the post-operative morbidities were analysed using univariate and multivariate analyses.


Slow gait speed was present in 95 out of 357 patients (26.61%) which was significantly associated with age (P < 0.001), gender (P = 0.016), plasma albumin (P < 0.001), American Society of Anesthesiologists grade (P = 0.012), tumour-node-metastasis grade (P = 0.007), sarcopenia (P < 0.001), handgrip (P < 0.001) and post-operative medical complications (P = 0.022). In univariate analysis, age (P = 0.015) and slow gait speed (P = 0.029) were risk factors of post-operative complications. In multivariate analysis, we found that age (P < 0.001) and slow gait speed (P = 0.029) were independent predictors of post-operative medical complications.


Slow gait speed is an independent predictor of post-operative medical complications in elderly patients undergoing curative gastrectomy. Those patients should be managed with appropriate perioperative nutritional support and physical exercise which can improve gait speed and reduce the risk of post-operative medical complications.

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