(RxWiki News) When it comes to your risk of complications after surgery, age may really just be a number, according to a new study.
Age did not appear to be a risk factor for post-surgery complications, this new study found. After reviewing 44 past studies on this topic, the authors of the new study found that frailty and cognitive impairment before surgery may be risk factors for post-surgical complications. Age, however, was not identified as a risk factor. Other surgery risk factors included smoking and depression symptoms, these study authors found.
These researchers noted that many health care providers currently consider patients' age as a risk factor for surgery complications. Older age is often thought to raise the risk. Among the 12,281 patients older than 60 who were included in this study, that did not appear to be true.
"Older adults are a diverse group of patients whose risk of postoperative complications is not solely defined by their age, comorbidities or the type of surgical procedure they receive," said lead study author Dr. Jennifer Watt, of St. Michael's Hospital, in a press release.
The study authors noted that several surgery risk factors they identified can be addressed through improved nutrition, better physical fitness and quitting smoking. Ask your health care provider how to reduce your risk for surgical complications.
This study was published in the journal BMC Medicine.
The study authors received funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health and various grants. One study author was a member of the editorial board for BMC Medicine.