THURSDAY, Oct. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Seniors who've had one or
more falls in the six months prior to surgery are at increased risk
for poorer outcomes after their operation, according to a new
Researchers looked at 235 people, average age 74, who had
colorectal and heart operations. Thirty-three percent of the
patients reported having at least one fall in the six months before
Those who had falls were more likely to have postoperative
complications than those without falls: 59 percent vs. 25 percent
in the colorectal surgery group, and 39 percent vs. 15 percent in
the heart surgery group.
Patients who had falls were also more likely to be discharged
from the hospital to a care facility, and had a higher rate of
readmission to the hospital within 30 days, according to the study
published online Oct. 9 in the journal
"Given the high volume of surgical care provided for the elderly population, improving preoperative risk assessment for the older adult is becoming increasingly important," wrote study author Dr. Teresa Jones, of the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and colleagues.
More than one-third of all inpatient operations in the United
States are performed on patients 65 and older, and that proportion
will increase in coming decades. However, current risk assessments
of patients before surgery do not include the risks associated with
being frail, the researchers noted.
The U.S. National Institute on Aging has more about