July 31, 2023

Costs of frailty after major, elective noncardiac surgery

By: Judy Mathias

Editor's Note

This Canadian study finds a 1.5-fold increase in costs in the year after major, elective noncardiac surgery for patients with preoperative frailty.

A total of 171,576 patients (23,219 with preoperative frailty) were included in the analysis.

Unadjusted costs were higher for frail patients. After adjusting for confounders, an absolute cost increase of $11,828 Canadian dollars ($8,987 US dollars) was attributable to frailty. This association was attenuated with further adjustment for comorbidities.

Postacute care costs had the largest increase among various components of 1-year costs. Costs varied by patient and procedure, with costs higher for women and total hip replacement procedures.

Future efforts to provide perioperative care for the aging population will require healthcare system planning, program development, and implementation strategies that consider the resource needs of patients with frailty, the researchers say.


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