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ICU patients: does age make any difference?


The aim of our study was to compare the characteristics of older patients (Group A, age ≥ 65 years) and younger ones (Group B, age <65 years) admitted to the seven-bed multidisciplinary ICU of our hospital, during a 9-year period.


A retrospective observational study of the records of all patients who were admitted to the ICU from 1998 to 2006. Data collected included age, gender (male, female), reason for admission (medical or surgical), APACHE II score on admission, length of ICU stay (LOS) in days and ICU mortality. Data were analyzed using Pearson correlation.


In total, 1,981 patients were admitted to the ICU during the aforementioned period. Group A included 1,216 patients (61.4% of total) and Group B 765 patients (38.6%). The annual percentage of elderly patients ranged from 53.3% (in 1999) to 67.2% (in 2005). Male patients outnumbered female ones in all age groups with the exception of the over-90 years age group. Surgical admissions outweighed medical ones only for patients aged 55–74 years of age. See Table 1.

Table 1 Characteristics of the ICU population from 1998 to 2006


Elderly patients represented the majority of ICU-admitted patients. No correlation was found between ICU LOS and age or severity of disease as measured by APACHE II score on admission. ICU mortality was found to be consistently higher in older patients compared with the younger ones (P < 0.001).

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Laskou, M., Katsiari, M., Mainas, E. et al. ICU patients: does age make any difference?. Crit Care 12 (Suppl 2), P496 (2008).

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