The Epidemiology and Economics of Cardiothoracic Surgery in the Elderly
Cardiothoracic surgery is performed primarily in older individuals. Within the United States and globally, the numbers of these older individuals will increase dramatically in the near future, driving enormous changes in the amount, profile, and delivery of health care. In this chapter we analyze recent trends in the patterns of treatment provided by cardiothoracic surgeons. While incidence rates for coronary artery bypass procedures have declined, other procedures have not changed significantly in frequency. With the forecasted increases in the number of older individuals there is good reason to believe that the volumes of cardiothoracic procedures that are performed will rise significantly, even if incidence rates continue to decline. Cardiothoracic surgeons should meet the challenges engendered by these changes through ongoing innovation and a continued focus on quality of care and clinical outcomes.
KeywordsCoronary artery bypass Open heart surgery Elderly Health manpower Appropriateness Epidemiology Health care costs Economics
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