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Impact of Age on 30-Day Mortality and Morbidity in Patients Undergoing Surgery for Ovarian Cancer
  1. Haider Mahdi, MD, MPH*,
  2. Andrew Wiechert, MD*,
  3. David Lockhart, BA and
  4. Peter G Rose, MD*
  1. *Gynecologic Oncology division, Ob/Gyn and Women’s Health Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH; and
  2. Department of Biostatistics, University of Washington, Seattle, WA.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Haider Mahdi, MD, Ob/Gyn and Women’s Health Institute, 9500 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44195. E-mail: mahdih6281{at}


Objective To examine the effect of age on postoperative 30-day morbidity and mortality after surgery for ovarian cancer.

Methods The American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program files were used to identify patients with ovarian cancer who underwent surgery in 2005 to 2011. Women were divided into 4 age groups: <60, 60 to 69, 70 to 79, and ≥80 years. Multivariable logistic regression models were performed.

Results Of 2087 patients included, 47% were younger than 60 years, 28% were 60 to 69 years old, 18% were 70 to 79 years old, and 7% were 80 years or older. Overall 30-day mortality and morbidity rates were 2% and 30%. Elderly patients 80 years or older were more likely to die within 30 days compared with patients younger than 60 years, 60 to 69 years old, and 70 to 79 years old (9.2% vs. 0.6% vs .2.8% vs 2.5%, P < 0.001). Elderly patient aged 80 years or older were more likely to develop pulmonary (9% vs 2% vs 5% vs 3%, P < 0.001) and septic (9% vs 3% vs 5% vs 4%, P = 0.01) complications compared with patients younger than 60 years, 60 to 69 years old, and 70 to 79 years old, respectively. No difference in the risk of renal (0.2% vs 1% vs 1% vs 1%, P = 0.20) complications and surgical reexploration (4% vs 4% vs 3% vs 5%, P = 0.80) between the 4 age groups. In multivariable analyses after adjusting for other confounders, age was a significant predictor of 30-day postoperative mortality and morbidity. Compared with younger patients, octogenarians were 9-times more likely to die and 70% more likely to develop complications within 30 days after surgery. Other significant predictors of 30-day mortality were higher American Society of Anesthesiologists class and hypoalbuminemia (serum albumin ≤ 3 g/dL), whereas, surgical complexity, higher American Society of Anesthesiologists class, longer operative time, and hypoalbuminemia were other significant predictors of 30-day morbidity.

Conclusions Elderly patients have a higher risk of perioperative mortality and morbidity within 30 days. Therefore, those patients should be counseled thoroughly about the risk of primary debulking surgery vs neoadjuvant chemotherapy.

  • Ovarian cancer
  • Age
  • Surgery
  • Mobidity
  • Mortality

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  • Conflict of interest: The authors disclose no potential conflict of interest.

  • Disclosure of funding: No funding was received for this research work.