(HealthDay News) – Preoperative anemia is significantly associated with adverse perioperative and postoperative outcomes following elective spine surgery, according to a study published in the July 1 issue of Spine.

Andreea Seicean, MPH, PhD, from the Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, and colleagues examined the correlation between preoperative anemia with adverse, early perioperative outcomes using data from the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program Database for 24,473 adults who underwent elective spine surgery. Participants included 88 with severe anemia, 314 with moderate anemia, and 5,477 with mild anemia.

The researchers found that, in unadjusted and propensity-matched models, patients with all levels of anemia had a significantly increased risk of nearly all adverse outcomes than patients without anemia. The likelihoods of having prolonged length of hospitalization, one or more complications, and death within 30 days of surgery were increased for patients with moderate and mild anemia vs. patients without anemia. The correlation between anemia and adverse outcomes was independent of transfusion (intra- or postoperative) and was not more pronounced in patients with preoperative cardiovascular comorbidities.

“Our findings, using a large multi-institutional sample of prospectively collected data, suggests that anemia should be regarded as an independent risk factor for perioperative and postoperative complications that deserves attention prior to elective spine surgery,” the authors write.

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