Outcome of older patients receiving mechanical ventilation

Andrés Esteban, Antonio Anzueto, Fernando Frutos-Vivar, Inmaculada Alía, E. Wesley Ely, Laurent Brochard, Thomas E. Stewart, Carlos Apezteguía, Martin J. Tobin, Peter Nightingale, Dimitrios Matamis, Jorge Pimentel, Freki Abroug

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine the threshold of age that best discriminates the survival of mechanically ventilated patients and to estimate the outcome of mechanically ventilated older patients. Design: International prospective cohort study. Setting: Three hundred sixty-one intensive care units from 20 countries. Patients and participants: Five thousand one hundred eighty-three patients mechanically ventilated for more than 12 h. Interventions: None. Measurements and results: Recursive partitioning and logistic regression were used and an outcome model was derived and validated using independent subgroups of the cohort. Two age thresholds (43 and 70 years) were found, by partitioning recursive analysis, to be associated with outcome. This study focuses on the analysis of patients older than 43 years of age, divided in two subgroups: between 43 and 70 years (middle age group) and older than 70 years (elderly group). Survival in hospital was 45% (95% C.I.: 43-48) for the elderly group and 55% (53-57) for the middle age group (p<0.001). Advanced age was not associated with prolongation of mechanical ventilation, weaning or length of stay in the ICU and in hospital (p>0.05). Variables associated with mortality in the elderly were: acute renal failure, shock, Simplified Acute Physiology Score II and a ratio of PaO2 to FIO2 more than 150. Conclusions: Older mechanically ventilated patients (age >70 years) had a lower ICU and hospital survival, but the duration of mechanical ventilation, ICU and hospital stay were similar to younger patients. Factors associated with the highest risk of mortality in patients older than 70 were the development of complications during the course of mechanical ventilation, such as acute renal failure and shock.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)639-646
Number of pages8
JournalIntensive care medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2004


  • Elderly
  • Epidemiology
  • Intensive care unit
  • Mechanical ventilation
  • Outcome
  • Respiratory failure
  • Survival rate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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