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(HealthDay News) — Frailty is a significant predictor of noncardiac postoperative outcomes among Medicare beneficiaries, according to a study published online May 22 in Anaesthesia.

Chan Mi Park, MD, MPH, from Hebrew SeniorLife in Boston, and colleagues used Medicare claims data from 1.0 million Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries (2015 to 2019) to examine the association of perioperative frailty with mortality, 30-day readmission and days at home after noncardiac surgical procedures of different physiological stress.

The researchers found that the cumulative incidence of mortality generally increased with Operative Stress Score category, ranging from 5.0% (Operative Stress Score 2) to 24.9 percent (Operative Stress Score 4) at 365 days. Increasing frailty was associated with mortality at 30 days (hazard ratios comparing moderate-to-severe frailty versus robust: 1.59 to 3.91) and at 365 days (hazard ratios, 1.30 to 4.04) within each category. Compared with variation by the operative stress category, the variation in postoperative outcomes by patients’ frailty level was much greater.

“These results emphasize routine frailty screening before major and minor noncardiac procedures and the need for greater clinician awareness of postoperative outcomes beyond 30 days in shared decision-making with older adults with frailty,” the authors write.

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