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Associations of preoperative anaemia with healthcare resource use and outcomes after colorectal surgery: a population-based cohort study


Background — Preoperative anaemia is common in patient undergoing colorectal surgery. Understanding the population-level costs of preoperative anaemia will inform development and evaluation of anaemia management at health system levels.

Methods — This was a population-based cohort study using linked, routinely collected data, including residents from Ontario, Canada, aged ≥18 yr who underwent an elective colorectal resection between 2012 and 2022. Primary exposure was preoperative anaemia (haemoglobin <130 g L−1 in males; <120 g L−1 in females). Primary outcome was 30-day costs in 2022 Canadian dollars (CAD), from the perspective of a publicly funded healthcare system. Secondary outcomes included red blood cell transfusion, major adverse events (MAEs), length of stay (LOS), days alive at home (DAH), and readmissions.

Results — We included 54,286 patients, with mean 65.3 (range 18–102) years of age and 49.0% females, among which 21 264 (39.2%) had preoperative anaemia. There was an absolute adjusted cost increase of $2671 per person at 30 days after surgery attributable to preoperative anaemia (ratio of means [RoM] 1.05, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.04–1.06). Compared with the control group, 30-day risks of transfusion (odds ratio [OR] 4.34, 95% CI 4.04–4.66), MAEs (OR 1.14, 95% CI 1.03–1.27), LOS (RoM 1.08, 95% CI 1.07–1.10), and readmissions (OR 1.16, 95% CI 1.08–1.24) were higher in the anaemia group, with reduced DAH (RoM 0.95, 95% CI 0.95–0.96).

Conclusions — Approximately $2671 CAD per person in 30-day health system costs are attributable to preoperative anaemia after colorectal surgery in Ontario, Canada.



Park LJ, Moloo H, Ramsay T, Thavorn K, Presseau J, Zwiep T, Martel G, Devereaux PJ, Talarico R, McIsaac DI. Br J Anaesth. 2024; Apr 21 [Epub ahead of print].

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