History of Falls Associated with Postoperative Complications among Older Adults

October 16, 2013 | Strategic Insights for Health System


Having fallen at least once during the six months prior to undergoing major elective surgery is associated with an increased chance of postoperative complications among older adults, according to the results of a study published online October 9, 2013, in JAMA Surgery. The study, which included 235 adults age 65 or older who underwent surgery at a referral medical center, found that when compared with patients with no preoperative history of falls, those who had recently fallen had an increased chance of experiencing one or more postoperative complications after both colorectal (59% versus 25%) and cardiac (39% versus 15%) procedures. Although the average age of the patients who had fallen was higher than the average age of those who had not, analysis revealed that the association between falls and postoperative complications was independent of advancing chronological age.

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