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Commentary
October 14, 2009

Functional Status Assessment in the Preoperative Evaluation of Older Adults

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor; and Divisions of Infectious Diseases and Geriatric Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Ann Arbor Veterans Affairs Healthcare System, Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center (GRECC), Ann Arbor.

JAMA. 2009;302(14):1582-1583. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1453

Many common surgical procedures such as spinal fusion, coronary artery bypass grafting, and arthroplasty are routinely performed on older adults. Although such procedures can enhance quality and duration of life, adverse events related to the procedure and postoperative period are key considerations. Important complications include delirium, infection, and cardiac events. Development of these and other complications are associated with increased length of stay, increased rate of discharge to chronic care facilities, and increased mortality. Although age has been considered a primary predictor of surgical outcomes, preoperative functional status is likely a better surrogate for postoperative risk.

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