The Impact of Frailty on Outcomes of Proximal Aortic Aneurysm Surgery: A Nationwide Analysis

Edward D. Percy, Thais Faggion Vinholo, Paige Newell, Supreet Singh, Sameer Hirji, Jake Awtry, Robert Semco, Muntasir Chowdhury, Alexander K. Reed, Sainath Asokan, Alexandra Malarczyk, Alexis Okoh, Morgan Harloff, Farhang Yazdchi, Tsuyoshi Kaneko, Ashraf A. Sabe

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(1) Background: This study examines frailty’s impact on proximal aortic surgery outcomes. (2) Methods: All patients with a thoracic aortic aneurysm who underwent aortic root, ascending aorta, or arch surgery from the 2016–2017 National Inpatient Sample were included. Frailty was defined by the Adjusted Clinical Groups Frailty Indicator. Outcomes of interest included in-hospital mortality and a composite of death, stroke, acute kidney injury (AKI), and major bleeding (MACE). (3) Results: Among 5745 patients, 405 (7.0%) met frailty criteria. Frail patients were older, with higher rates of chronic pulmonary disease, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease. There was no difference in in-hospital death (4.9% vs. 2.4%, p = 0.169); however, the frail group exhibited higher rates of stroke and AKI. Frail patients had a longer length of stay (17 vs. 8 days), and higher rates of non-home discharge (74.1% vs. 54.3%) than non-frail patients (both p < 0.001). Sensitivity analysis confirmed increased morbidity and mortality in frail individuals. After adjusting for patient comorbidities and hospital characteristics, frailty independently predicted MACE (OR 4.29 [1.88–9.78], p = 0.001), while age alone did not (OR 1.00 [0.99–1.02], p = 0.568). Urban teaching center status predicted a lower risk of MACE (OR 0.27 [0.08–0.94], p = 0.039). (4) Conclusions: Frailty is associated with increased morbidity in proximal aortic surgery and is a more significant predictor of mortality than age. Coordinated treatment in urban institutions may enhance outcomes for this high-risk group.

Original languageEnglish
Article number32
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Development and Disease
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2024


  • aortic aneurysm
  • aortic surgery
  • frailty


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