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The composite risk index based on frailty predicts postoperative complications in older patients recovering from elective digestive tract surgery: a retrospective cohort study

June 21, 2022

Background:
Limitations exist in available studies investigating effect of preoperative frailty on postoperative out‑ comes. This study was designed to analyze the association between composite risk index, an accumulation of preop‑ erative frailty deficits, and the risk of postoperative complications in older patients recovering from elective digestive tract surgery.
Methods:
This was a retrospective cohort study. Baseline and perioperative data of older patients (age ≥ 65 years) who underwent elective digestive tract surgery from January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2018 were collected. The severity of frailty was assessed with the composite risk index, a composite of frailty deficits including modified frailty index. The primary endpoint was the occurrence of postoperative complications during hospital stay. The association between the composite risk index and the risk of postoperative complications was assessed with a multivariable logis‑ tic regression model.
Results:
A total of 923 patients were included. Of these, 27.8% (257) developed postoperative complications. Four frailty deficits, i.e., modified frailty index ≥0.27, malnutrition, hemoglobin < 90 g/L, and albumin ≤30 g/L, were com‑ bined to generate a composite risk index. Multivariable analysis showed that, when compared with patients with composite risk index of 0, the odds ratios (95% confidence intervals) were 2.408 (1.714–3.383, P < 0.001) for those with a composite risk index of 1, 3.235 (1.985–5.272, P < 0.001) for those with a composite risk index of 2, and 9.227 (3.568–23.86, P < 0.001) for those with composite risk index of 3 or above. The area under receiver‑operator charac‑ teristic curve to predict postoperative complications was 0.653 (95% confidence interval 0.613–0.694, P < 0.001) for composite risk index compared with 0.622 (0.581–0.663, P < 0.001) for modified frailty index. Conclusion:
For older patients following elective digestive tract surgery, high preoperative composite risk index, a combination of frailty deficits, was independently associated with an increased risk of postoperative complications.
Keywords:
Older patient, Frailty, Malnutrition, Digestive system surgical procedures, Postoperative complications.