The Hidden Risks of Advancing Age and Concomitant Ischemic Heart Disease After Aortic Valve Replacement


  • Annelies E. Mitchell,

    1. Cardiff University School of Medicine, University Hospital of Wales, Heath Park, Cardiff, United Kingdom
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Ian M. Mitchell MD

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Cardiac Surgery, Trent Cardiac Centre, Nottingham City Hospital, Nottingham, United Kingdom
    • Department of Cardiac Surgery, Trent Cardiac Centre, Nottingham City Hospital, Nottingham NG5 1PB, United Kingdom
    Search for more papers by this author



Despite an increasing patient risk profile, in-hospital mortality after aortic valve replacement (AVR) has declined.


Advanced age, concomitant coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), and increasing comorbidity negatively affect outcomes after AVR and do so particularly in the early months after hospital discharge, where results compare much less favorably with mortality during the first 30 days.


The study population consisted of all patients undergoing elective AVR by a single surgeon, with and without CABG, in the decade of 2000–2009. Age, logistic EuroSCORE, diabetes, type of operation, and 30-day and 1-year mortality were recorded.


One hundred ninety-one patients underwent isolated AVR; 133 underwent AVR + CABG. The average age increased by 5.7 years, octogenarians by 50%, logistic EuroSCORE by 18%, and the proportion of diabetics from 4% to 25.5%. Concomitant CABG surgery increased from 36% to 49%. Overall mortality for isolated AVR was zero in the first 30 days and 1.6% in the next 11 months. For AVR and CABG, mortality was 3.75% and 9%, respectively. For octogenarians, mortality was zero and 5.9% for AVR and 4.76% and 14.29% for AVR and CABG at 30 days and in the next 11 months, respectively.


Thirty-day mortality in all age groups remained low but was much higher in the short term after discharge from hospital, particularly in octogenarians and those with concomitant ischemic heart disease. This should inform the consent process (which traditionally concentrates on in-hospital mortality) and there should be greater awareness of the frailty and particular requirements of the elderly after discharge.

This work was presented at the meeting of the Scandinavian Society for Research in Cardiothoracic Surgery, Geilo, Norway, February 10, 2012.

The authors have no funding, financial relationships, or conflicts of interest to disclose.