Results of colectomy in elderly patients with colon cancer, based on medicare claims data

Jeff Whittle, Earl P. Steinberg, Gerard F. Anderson, Robert Herbert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Currently available estimates of outcomes following colon resection in elderly patients with colon cancer are based on series collected at academic medical centers. We used Medicare Part A claims and enrollment records of a 5% nationally random sample of elderly Medicare beneficiaries from 1983 to 1985 to estimate how patient age and sex affected perioperative mortality and 1- and 2-year survival rates among elderly patients undergoing a colon resection procedure for colon cancer. Among the 5,586 individuals in our data set, the overall perioperative mortality rate was 5.0%, ranging from 3.3% in beneficiaries 66 to 69 years of age to 9.3% in those 85 years of age and older. Men had a 31% higher perioperative mortality rate than women (5.8% versus 4.4%, p < 0.05). The overall postoperative survival rates at 1 and 2 years were 72% and 63%, respectively, decreasing with increasing age, but were similar in men and women. This analysis provides age- and sex-specific estimates of outcomes following surgery for elderly patients with colon cancer that are more precise and have more potential for generalization than those that were available previously.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)572-576
Number of pages5
JournalThe American Journal of Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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