Background: Frailty predicts poor outcome after vascular surgery. We determined the predictive utility of the modified frailty index (mFI) after first-time revascularization and identified biomarkers of frailty predictive of outcome in veterans with peripheral arterial disease. Methods: A retrospective study was performed of first-time revascularizations (open surgery [OS] and endovascular surgery [ES]) in male veterans (2003-2016). Preoperative mFI scores were calculated, and serum and nonserum biomarkers of frailty were recorded. The primary endpoint was 2-y incidence of reintervention, amputation, and mortality. Secondary endpoints included 30-day morbidity and readmissions. Results: Four hundred and thirty one patients (OS, n = 188; ES, n = 243), mean age of 66 ± 9 y, and 16 mo of median follow-up were studied. Mean mFI was 0.39 ± 0.16 for OS and 0.38 ± 0.15 for ES (P = 0.43). 30-day complications (adjusted odds ratio, 4.89; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.67-14.33) and readmissions (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] 3.32; 95% CI: 1.16-9.55) were increased in the OS versus ES group when stratified by mFI. Survival analysis showed a correlation between risk of amputation, death, and composite outcome with increasing mFI (P < 0.005) in both groups. Frailty independently predicted major amputation (aHR 2.16; 1.06-4.39), mortality (aHR 2.62; 95% CI: 1.17-5.88), and composite outcome (aHR 1.97; 95% CI: 1.06-3.68) when the groups are combined. Except for absolute neutrophil count, all preoperative lab values correlated with mFI (P < 0.5). Higher albumin was independently associated with lower risk of amputation (aHR: 0.58 [0.36-0.94]) and mortality (aHR: 0.45 [0.25-0.83]); higher hemoglobin predicted limb salvage (aHR 0.7 [0.62-0.84]). Conclusions: Frailty predicts short- and long-term outcomes after first-time revascularization in veterans. Hypoalbuminemia and anemia are associated with higher mFI and independently predict poor outcome, suggesting albumin and hemoglobin are viable biomarkers of frailty in veterans.
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