Borderline anaemia and postoperative outcome in women undergoing major abdominal surgery: a retrospective cohort study
AuthorMiles, LF; Larsen, T; Bailey, MJ; Burbury, KL; Story, DA; Bellomo, R
University of Melbourne Author/sBailey, Michael; Bellomo, Rinaldo; Burbury, Kate; Miles, Lachlan; Story, David; Miles, Lachlan Fraser
AffiliationSir Peter MacCallum Department of Oncology
Medicine (Austin & Northern Health)
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsMiles, L. F., Larsen, T., Bailey, M. J., Burbury, K. L., Story, D. A. & Bellomo, R. (2019). Borderline anaemia and postoperative outcome in women undergoing major abdominal surgery: a retrospective cohort study. ANAESTHESIA, 75 (2), pp.210-217. https://doi.org/10.1111/anae.14870.
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Pre-operative anaemia is typically diagnosed with a haemoglobin concentration < 120 g.l-1 for women and < 130 g.l-1 for men on the basis of limited evidence. This retrospective cohort study stratified women undergoing elective, major abdominal surgery based on pre-operative haemoglobin concentration: anaemic (< 120 g.l-1 ); borderline anaemic (120-129 g.l-1 ); and non-anaemic (> 130 g.l-1 ). Data from 1554 women were analysed. Women with borderline anaemia had a greater incidence of postoperative complications (55 (16%) vs. 110 (11%); p = 0.026), longer duration of hospital stay (median (IQR [range]) 3 (1-6 [0-69]) days vs. 2 (1-5 [0-80]) days; p = 0.017) and fewer days alive and out of hospital at postoperative day 30 (median (IQR [range]) 27 (23-29 [0-30]) vs. 28 (25-29 [0-30]) days; p = 0.017) compared with non-anaemic women. However, after matched cohort analysis, these outcome differences no longer remained statistically significant. After multivariable adjustment for procedure, Charlson comorbidity index and patient age, a negative relationship between logarithmic pre-operative haemoglobin concentration and duration of stay was found (parameter estimate (standard error) -0.006 (0.003) vs. 0.003 (0.003) for a haemoglobin concentration < 130 g.l-1 vs. > 130 g.l-1 , respectively; p = 0.03); the difference in duration of stay was approximately 50% greater for women with a haemoglobin concentration of 120 g.l-1 compared with those with a haemoglobin concentration of 130 g.l-1 . Although the contribution of borderline anaemia to the incidence of postoperative complications is uncertain, the current diagnostic criteria should be re-assessed.
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