Understanding the role of frailty in local and systemic complications and healthcare resource utilization in acute pancreatitis: Findings from a national cohort

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BACKGROUND: Acute pancreatitis (AP) is a significant gastrointestinal cause of hospitalization with increasing incidence. Risk stratification is crucial for determining AP outcomes, but the association between frailty and AP outcomes is poorly understood. Moreover, age disparities in severity indices for AP complicate risk assessment. This study investigates frailty's impact on local and systemic complications in AP, readmission rates, and healthcare resource utilization.

METHODS: Using the National Readmission Database from 2016 to 2019, we identified adult AP patients and assessed frailty using the Frailty Risk Score. Our analysis included local and systemic complications, resource utilization, readmission rates, procedures performed, and hospitalization outcomes. Multivariate regression was employed, and statistical significance was set at P < 0.05 using Stata version 14.2.

RESULTS: Among 1,134,738 AP patients, 6.94 % (78,750) were classified as frail, with a mean age of 63.42 years and 49.71 % being female. Frail patients experienced higher rates of local complications (e.g., pseudocyst, acute pancreatic necrosis, walled-off necrosis) and systemic complications (e.g., pleural effusion, acute respiratory distress syndrome, sepsis, abdominal compartment syndrome) compared to non-frail patients. Frailty was associated with increased readmission rates and served as an independent predictor of readmission. Frail patients had higher inpatient mortality (7.11 % vs. 1.60 %), longer hospital stays, and greater hospitalization costs.

CONCLUSION: Frailty in AP patients is linked to elevated rates of local and systemic complications, increased mortality, and higher healthcare costs. Assessing frailty is crucial in AP management as it provides a valuable tool for risk stratification and identifying high-risk patients, thereby improving overall outcomes.

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Adult; Humans; Female; Middle Aged; Male; Frailty; Pancreatitis; Acute Disease; Hospitalization; Risk Factors; Health Care Costs; Postoperative Complications; Retrospective Studies; Patient Readmission

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ePub ahead of print





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