World Journal of Surgery

, Volume 29, Issue 8, pp 1013–1021 | Cite as

The Impact of the Risk Factor “Age” on the Early Postoperative Results of Surgery for Colorectal Carcinoma and Its Significance for Perioperative Management

  • Frank Marusch
  • Andreas Koch
  • Uwe Schmidt
  • Ralf Steinert
  • Torsten Ueberrueck
  • Reinhard Bittner
  • Eugen Berg
  • Rainer Engemann
  • Klaus Gellert
  • Rainer Arbogast
  • Thomas Körner
  • Ferdinand Köckerling
  • Ingo Gastinger
  • Hans Lippert
Original article


The risks and benefits of surgery for colorectal cancer in old patients have not been unequivocally defined. The present investigation was carried out in 309 hospitals as a prospective multicenter study. In the period between 1 January 2000 and 31 December 2001, a total of 19,080 patients were recruited for the study; 16,142 (84.6%) patients were younger than 80 years (<80) and 2932 (15.4%) were 80 years and older (≥ 80). Significant differences between the age groups were observed for general postoperative complications (22.3% for <80 years; 33.9% for ≥ 80). Specific postoperative complications were identical in both groups. Overall, significantly elevated morbidity and mortality rates were found with increasing age (morbidity: 33.9% vs. 43.5%; mortality: 2.6% vs. 8.0%). The distribution of tumor stages revealed a significantly higher percentage of locally advanced tumors in the older age group (stage II: 28.0% vs. 34.4%). In contrast, no increase in metastasizing tumors was found in the older age group (stage IV: 17.4% vs. 14.1%). Logistic regression showed that, in concert with a number of other parameters, age is a significant influencing factor on postoperative morbidity and mortality. The increase in postoperative morbidity and mortality rates associated with aging is a result of the increase in general postoperative complications, in particular, pneumonia and cardiovascular complications. Age as such does not represent a contraindication for surgical treatment. The short-term outcome and quality of life are of overriding importance for the geriatric patient.


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Copyright information

© Société Internationale de Chirurgie 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frank Marusch
    • 1
    • 8
  • Andreas Koch
    • 1
    • 8
  • Uwe Schmidt
    • 1
  • Ralf Steinert
    • 1
    • 8
  • Torsten Ueberrueck
    • 1
    • 8
  • Reinhard Bittner
    • 2
  • Eugen Berg
    • 3
  • Rainer Engemann
    • 4
  • Klaus Gellert
    • 5
  • Rainer Arbogast
    • 6
  • Thomas Körner
    • 7
  • Ferdinand Köckerling
    • 1
    • 7
  • Ingo Gastinger
    • 1
    • 8
  • Hans Lippert
    • 1
    • 9
  1. 1.Institute for Quality Management in Operative MedicineOtto-von-Guericke University MagdeburgMagdeburgGermany
  2. 2.Department of SurgeryMarien-Hospital StuttgartStuttgartGermany
  3. 3.Department of ColoproctologyProsper-Hospital RecklinghausenRecklinghausenGermany
  4. 4.Department of SurgeryAschaffenburg HospitalAschaffenburgGermany
  5. 5.Department of SurgeryOscar-Ziethen-Hospital, Berlin-LichtenbergBerlinGermany
  6. 6.Department of SurgeryPforzheim HospitalPforzheimGermany
  7. 7.Department of SurgeryHanover-HospitalHanoverGermany
  8. 8.Department of SurgeryCarl-Thiem Hospital CottbusCottbusGermany
  9. 9.Department of SurgeryOtto-von-Guericke University MagdeburgMagdeburgGermany

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