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Multiplicative effect of frailty and obesity on postoperative mortality following spine surgery: a deep dive into the frailty, obesity, and Clavien-Dindo dynamic

Int J Obes (Lond). 2023 Dec 18. doi: 10.1038/s41366-023-01423-0. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Obesity is a global health challenge that affects a large proportion of adults worldwide. Obesity and frailty pose considerable health risks due to their potential to interact and amplify one another’s negative effects. Therefore, we sought to compare the discriminatory thresholds of the risk analysis index (RAI), 5-factor modified frailty index (m-FI-5) and patient age for the primary endpoint of postoperative mortality.

SUBJECTS/METHODS: We included spine surgery patients ≥18 years old, from the American College of Surgeons National Quality Improvement program database from 2012-2020, that were classified as obese. We performed receiver operating characteristic curve analysis to compare the discrimination threshold of RAI, mFI-5, and patient age for postoperative mortality. Proportional hazards risk-adjusted regressions were performed, and Hazard ratios and corresponding 95% Confidence intervals (CI) are reported.

RESULTS: Overall, there were 149 163 patients evaluated, and in the ROC analysis for postoperative mortality, RAI showed superior discrimination C-statistic 0.793 (95%CI: 0.773-0.813), compared to mFI-5 C-statistic 0.671 (95%CI 0.650-0.691), and patient age C-statistic 0.686 (95%CI 0.666-0.707). Risk-adjusted analyses were performed, and the RAI had a stepwise increasing effect size across frailty strata: typical patients HR 2.55 (95%CI 2.03-3.19), frail patients HR 3.48 (95%CI 2.49-4.86), and very frail patients HR 4.90 (95%CI 2.87-8.37). We found increasing postoperative mortality effect sizes within Clavein-Dindo complication strata, consistent across obesity categories, exponentially increasing with frailty, and multiplicatively enhanced within CD, frailty and obesity strata.

CONCLUSION: In this study of 149 163 patients classified as obese and undergoing spine procedures in an international prospective surgical database, the RAI demonstrated superior discrimination compared to the mFI-5 and patient age in predicting postoperative mortality risk. The deleterious effects of frailty and obesity were synergistic as their combined effect predicted worse outcomes.

PMID:38110501 | DOI:10.1038/s41366-023-01423-0

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