The American Society of Anesthesiologists' class as a comorbidity index in a cohort of head and neck cancer surgical patients

Authors

  • Britt C. Reid DDS, PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Oral Health Care Delivery, School of Dentistry, Room 3E-04, University of Maryland, 666 West Baltimore Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21203
    • Department of Oral Health Care Delivery, School of Dentistry, Room 3E-04, University of Maryland, 666 West Baltimore Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21203
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  • Anthony J. Alberg PhD, MPH,

    1. Department of Epidemiology, School of Hygiene and Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland
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  • Ann C. Klassen PhD,

    1. Department of Health Policy and Management, School of Hygiene and Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland
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  • Wayne M. Koch MD,

    1. Department of Otolaryngology, School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland
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  • Jonathan M. Samet MD, MS

    1. Department of Epidemiology, School of Hygiene and Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland
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Abstract

Background

We assessed the American Society of Anesthesiologists' (ASA) class, as a measure of comorbidity in comparison to the commonly used Charlson index for prognostic ability in a HNCA population.

Methods

Proportional hazards methods were applied to head and neck cancer patients whose treatment included surgery by the Johns Hopkins Otolaryngology service (n = 388).

Results

The Charlson index and ASA class were modestly correlated (Spearman 0.36, p < .001). Compared with patients with ASA class 1 or 2, those with ASA class 3 or 4 had a two-fold elevated mortality rate (Relative Hazard (RH) = 2.00, 95% CI, 1.38–2.89). This association was stronger than observed for a Charlson index score of 1 or more compared with 0 (RH = 1.59, 95% CI, 1.17–2.17). Both the Charlson index and ASA class adjusted RHs displayed dose-response patterns (p value for trend < .001).

Conclusions

Compared with the Charlson index, the ASA class had comparable if not greater prognostic ability for mortality in this elderly HNCA population. © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Head Neck 23: 985–994, 2001.

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