Prevalence of preoperative anemia, abnormal mean corpuscular volume and red cell distribution width among surgical patients in Singapore, and their influence on one year mortality

Yilin Eileen Sim, Hide Elfrida Wee, Ai Leen Ang, Niresh Ranjakunalan, Biauw Chi Ong, Hairil Rizal Abdullah
PloS One 2017, 12 (8): e0182543

INTRODUCTION: Preoperative anemia and high red cell distribution width (RDW) are associated with higher perioperative mortality. Conditions with high RDW levels can be categorized by mean corpuscular volume (MCV). The relationship between RDW, anemia and MCV may explain causality between high RDW levels and outcomes. We aim to establish the prevalence of preoperative anemia and distribution of RDW and MCV among pre-surgical patients in Singapore. In addition, we aim to investigate the association between preoperative anemia, RDW and MCV levels with one-year mortality after surgery.

METHODS: Retrospective review of 97,443 patients aged > = 18 years who underwent cardiac and non-cardiac surgeries under anesthesia between January 2012 and October 2016. Patient demographics, comorbidities, priority of surgery, surgical risk classification, perioperative transfusion, preoperative hemoglobin, RDW, MCV were collected. WHO anemia classification was used. High RDW was defined as >15.7%. Multivariate regression analyses were done to identify independent risk factors for mild or moderate/severe anemia and high RDW (>15.7). Multivariate cox regression analysis was done to determine the effect of preoperative anemia, abnormal RDW and MCV values on 1-year mortality.

RESULTS: Our cohort comprised of 94.7% non-cardiac and 5.3% cardiac surgeries. 88.7% of patients achieved 1 year follow-up. Anemia prevalence was 27.8%-mild anemia 15.3%, moderate anemia 12.0% and severe anemia 0.5%. One-year mortality was 3.5%. Anemia increased with age in males, while in females, anemia was more prevalent between 18-49 years and > = 70 years. Most anemics were normocytic. Normocytosis and macrocytosis increased with age, while microcytosis decreased with age. Older age, male gender, higher ASA-PS score, anemia (mild- aHR 1.98; moderate/severe aHR 2.86), macrocytosis (aHR 1.47), high RDW (aHR 2.34), moderate-high risk surgery and emergency surgery were associated with higher hazard ratios of one-year mortality.

DISCUSSION: Preoperative anemia is common. Anemia, macrocytosis and high RDW increases one year mortality.

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