Dr Rabeneck and colleagues from Toronto, Canada undertook a study to compare 30-day and 5-year mortality in elderly vs. younger patients following surgical resection for colorectal cancer.
The researchers reviewed a cohort study of patients admitted to VA hospitals with a new diagnosis of colorectal cancer and who underwent surgical resection between October 1990 and September 2000.
The research team calculated cumulative survival rates (30-day and 5-year) from KaplanMeier estimates and adjusted risks of death were estimated using Cox proportional hazards models.
|30-day mortality following resection for rectal and colon cancer, respectively, for patients <65 years was 2 and 3%|
|Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics|
The researchers also identified 34 888 individuals with a new diagnosis of colorectal cancer between October 1990 and September 2000, of whom 22 633 (65%) underwent surgical resection.
The investigators found that the 30-day mortality following resection for rectal and colon cancer, respectively, for patients <65 years was 2 and 3% compared with 5 and 6% for those 65 years.
In addition, the research team noted that the 5-year cumulative survival for rectal and colon cancer for patients <65 years was 54 and 58% compared with 45 and 47% for those 65 years.
Dr Rabeneck concluded, "In patients 65 years with rectal or colon cancer, after adjustment, 30-day mortality was 2 times greater and 5-year mortality was 1 times greater than in younger patients."
"Older age is an independent predictor of increased short-term and long-term mortality following surgery in patients with rectal and colon cancer."