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Acute biliary pancreatitis linked to poor outcomes in elderly



Compared with younger patients, elderly patients admitted for acute biliary pancreatitis have increased rates of severe acute pancreatitis and mortality, according to an analysis of a nationally representative database.

Mortality was almost three times as high in elderly patients after stringent matching for confounding variables, wrote researcher Kishan Patel, MD, of the Ohio State University, Columbus, and coauthors.

These findings represent a “current health care concern,” since the elderly population in the United States is expected to double within the next several decades and the prevalence of acute pancreatitis is on the rise, Dr. Patel and colleagues wrote in a report on the analysis in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology.

The analysis is the first, to the investigators’ knowledge, that addresses national-level outcomes associated with acute biliary pancreatitis in elderly patients.

To evaluate clinical outcomes of elderly patients with acute biliary pancreatitis, Dr. Patel and colleagues queried the Nationwide Readmissions Database, which is the largest inpatient readmission database in the United States.

The investigators looked at outcomes associated with index hospitalizations, defined as a patient’s first hospitalization in a calendar year, and found 184,763 adult patients who received a diagnosis of acute biliary pancreatitis between 2011 and 2014. Of those, 41% were elderly.

The mortality rate associated with the index admission was 1.96% (n = 356) for the elderly patients, compared with just 0.32% (n = 1,473) for nonelderly patients (P less than .001), according to the report.

Mortality was increased in the elderly versus nonelderly patients, with an odds ratio of 2.8 (95% CI, 2.2-3.5), according to results of a propensity score matched analysis. Likewise, severe acute pancreatitis was increased in the elderly, with an OR of 1.2 (95% CI: 1.1-1.3) in that analysis.

By contrast, patient age did not impact 30-day readmission rates, according to results of a multivariate analysis that adjusted for confounding factors.

Mortality and severe acute pancreatitis both increased with age within the elderly cohort, further multivariate analysis showed. For example, the ORs for mortality were 1.39 for patients aged 75-84 years and 2.21 for patients aged 85 years and older, the results show.

The elderly population in the United States is expected to almost double by 2050, rising from 48 to 88 million, Dr. Patel and colleagues said. The number of those aged 85 years or older is expected to increase from 5.9 to 18 million by 2050, at which time they will make up nearly 5% of the total U.S. population.

“This specific demographic is more susceptible to common medical ailments, more troubling is acute pancreatitis is one of the most frequent causes of hospitalization in gastroenterology,” Dr. Patel and colleagues wrote.

Dr. Patel and coauthors reported no conflicts of interest related to the analysis.

SOURCE: Patel K et al. J Clin Gastroenterol. 2018 Aug 28. doi: 10.1097/MCG.0000000000001108.

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