Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Understanding Cardiothoracic Surgery in Elderly Populations

There is a vital need for evidence-based clinical evaluation tools to assess operative risk and post-operative recovery in the elderly, including biomarkers of physiologic age and a simple/reliable clinical evaluation scheme to determine frailty as a risk factor for poor surgical outcomes.

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Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Critical Challenge (CC)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Development of tools to assess operative risk and post-operative recover in the elderly would improve surgical outcomes in this growing patient population.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

This at risk population is growing rapidly.

Older patients represent an important, different, and under-studied subgroup of those undergoing cardiothoracic surgery according to the Joint NHLBI-AATS Working Group (http://aats.org/CME/2011-AATS-NHLBI-Symposium.cgi). Due to the aging of the US population and the increased severity of coronary and valve disease in older individuals, the use of cardiothoracic surgery in older patients in relative terms is growing rapidly. Between 1990 and 2008, the percentage of those aged 80 years or older has gone from 8% to 16% of total for bypass surgery and 14% to 30% of total for valve surgery.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : NHLBI Staff

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Idea No. 37