Deaths, complications decline among older patients undergoing heart valve procedures

American Heart Association Meeting Report - Abstract 3

May 10, 2012 Categories: Scientific Conferences & Meetings
May 10, 2012
Embargoed for 11 a.m. ET
A significant increase in the number of heart valve repair and replacement surgeries in patients age 85 and older has been accompanied by an unexpected improvement in outcomes, with fewer deaths and serious complications, according research presented at the American Heart Association’s Quality of Care and Outcomes Research 2012 Scientific Sessions.
Researchers reviewed the records of more than 156,000 Medicare beneficiaries undergoing mitral valve repair or replacement between 1999 and 2008 and found the overall rate of procedures was relatively stable. But the percentage of those 85 and older undergoing procedures increased by 38 percent (7.5 percent in 1999 to 12 percent in 2008) and mitral valve repair almost doubled.
Such procedures carry special risks for older patients. However, researchers found that deaths within 30 days dropped by more than half, from 10.6 percent to 5.1 percent, and one-year mortality fell from 20.3 percent to 13.3 percent in the over-85 group, a relative decline of 34.5 percent over the ten-year study period. Similar improvements were seen across all age groups, although it is unclear if improved operative techniques or other management strategies were responsible.
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NR12 – 1068 (QCOR12/ThursNewsTips)
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