To the Editor.
—The study by Chelluri et al1 of outcomes after elderly patients have received nonelective care in a medical/ surgical intensive care unit (ICU) is commendable for its measure of patient function, quality of life, and long-term outcomes, in addition to short-term mortality. In the study, no significant difference was found in these measures between the younger elderly (ages 65 to 75 years) and older elderly (older than 75 years).As Chelluri et al noted, the sample size did not give the study adequate power to detect significant differences in long-term survival between the younger and older patient populations. It can be shown, however, that the sample size was small enough to place the study power for analysis of immediate post-ICU survival as well as long-term survival at a level below that needed to demonstrate important potential differences between these two populations. Using the data in Table
Woolley DC. Outcomes in Elderly Patients After Intensive Care. JAMA. 1993;270(18):2179–2180. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03510180049025
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