Patient Care

One-Year Survival Nearly 60% for Elderly Survivors of In-Hospital Cardiac Arrest


Clinical question: What is the long-term outcome of elderly survivors of in-hospital cardiac arrest?

Background: Previous studies have examined in-hospital survival from in-hospital cardiac arrest but have not looked at long-term outcomes and readmission of in-hospital cardiac arrest survivors.

Study design: Retrospective cohort.

Setting: Acute-care hospitals that submitted data to the Get with the Guidelines—Resuscitation registry between 2000 and 2008.

Synopsis: Using the Get with the Guidelines—Resuscitation registry from 401 acute-care hospitals, data from 6,972 Medicare patients aged 65 years or older who had a pulseless in-hospital cardiac arrest and survived to discharge were analyzed. Survival rates were 82% at 30 days, 72% at three months, 58.5% at one year, and 49.6% at two years. Survival at three years was 43.5%, similar to patients discharged with heart failure.

One-year survival decreased with increasing age. Survival also decreased with black race (52.5% vs. 60.4% for white patients, P=0.001) and male sex (58.6% vs. 60.9% for women, P=0.03). Patients with mild or no neurologic disability at discharge had a higher survival rate at one year than patients with moderate, severe, or coma state. Readmission rates at one year after discharge were 65.6% and 76.2% at two years. Black patients, women, and patients with neurologic disability at discharge were more likely to be readmitted.

Because this is an observational study looking at a quality database of Medicare patients, it excludes patients at VA hospitals and non-Medicare facilities. This data excludes assessments of quality of life after discharge and health status among those with long-term survival, and does not include cause of death.

Bottom line: One-year survival following in-hospital cardiac arrest for patients over age 65 approaches 60% and decreases with increasing age, male sex, and black race.

Citation: Chan PS, Nallamothu BK, Krumholz HM, et al. Long-term outcomes in elderly survivors of in-hospital cardiac arrest. N Engl J Med. 2013;368:1019-1026.

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