Cardiac Surgery in the Elderly



As the elderly population steadily rises each year, so does the number of patients referred for cardiac surgical procedures. The U.S. Census Bureau predicted that there would be approximately 7.4 million people over the age of 80 by 2008, as compared to 6.2 million in 2000 [1]. Recent data reported that elderly patients over the age of 70 with no functional limitations could expect to live 14.3 years longer, compared with 11.6 years for those with limitation in at least one activity of daily living [2]. A formidable challenge facing cardiologists and cardiac surgeons is the appropriate treatment of the 40% of a growing elderly population that suffers from symptomatic cardiovascular disease [3]. The morbidity and mortality associated with cardiac surgical procedures in the elderly has substantially decreased since the late 1980s [4], although it is still higher than that of younger counterparts less than 70 years of age [5]. Reports of acceptable mortality rates and improved long-term ­quality of life justify cardiac operations in most symptomatic elderly patients. Only recently large studies have focused on risk analyses and outcomes in an effort to provide the clinician with as much evidence-based literature as possible to make the most appropriate decisions for many of these complex elderly patients.


Mitral Valve Coronary Artery Bypass Aortic Valve Replacement Left Ventricular Assist Device Open Heart Surgery 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors wish to acknowledge the invaluable assistance of Melissa L. Wong and Gladys Madrid RN for the creation of this manuscript.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Cardiothoracic SurgeryNewark Beth Israel Medical CenterNewarkUSA

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