More complications after stenting for the elderly

Many elders can expect long-term survival

Elderly patients who undergo coronary artery stenting have significantly more pre- and postoperative complications than younger patients, but overall survival rates in the elderly remain high, according to recent research.1 Investigators compared 137 stenting patients who were at least 75 years old with about 2,500 patients under 75.

The elderly group had relatively more complications during surgery, including bleeding and stroke, than did the younger group. The elderly group also had more complications going into surgery, such as complex lesions, unstable angina, and multivessel disease.

But after a 12-month follow-up, overall survival was 91% in the elderly group, and of those, 54% did not suffer postoperative complications. Most elderly patients who died after stent placement did so within a month, suggesting that "if an elderly patient survived this critical period, he could expect long-term survival," the authors conclude.

Reference

1. De Gregorio J, Kobayashi Y, Albiero R, et al. Coronary artery stenting in the elderly: Short-term outcome and long-term angiographic and clinical follow-up. J Am Coll Cardiol 1998; 32:577-583.