Long-term functional recovery and health-related quality of life of elderly out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survivors

Emily Andrew, Eric Mercier, Ziad Nehme, Stephen Bernard, Karen Smith

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28 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Understanding the prognosis of elderly out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) patients is vital to informing resuscitation and advanced care planning decisions. However, short-term outcomes such as survival to hospital discharge do not account for post-arrest quality of life. We describe the 12-month functional recovery and health-related quality of life (HR-QOL) of elderly OHCA survivors, including those arresting in aged care facilities. Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of Victorian Ambulance Cardiac Arrest Registry data for all OHCA survivors to hospital discharge aged ≥65 years between 1 January 2010 and 30 June 2016. The influence of age on functional recovery and independent living was assessed using multivariable logistic regression. Results: During the study period, 20,103 elderly OHCAs were attended, 9016 (44.9%) of whom received a resuscitation attempt. In total, 876 (9.7%) patients survived to hospital discharge and 777 were alive 12 months post-arrest. Of these, 651 participated in 12-month follow-up (response rate 83.8%). Most (60.6%) resided at home without additional care and 66.6% reported a good functional recovery, however both measures decreased with increasing age (p < 0.001). Mental HR-QOL increased with increasing age and was significantly better than the age- and sex-matched Australian population. Each 10-year increase in age was associated with a 40.8% (95%CI 25.6–53.0%) reduction in the odds of good functional recovery, and a 65.8% (95%CI 55.8–73.5%) reduction in the odds of living independently. Of the 2575 OHCAs in an aged care facility, 2.2% survived to hospital discharge, however no patient reported a good 12-month functional recovery. Conclusions: Most elderly OHCA survivors resided independently with good functionality 12 months post-arrest. However, increasing age was associated with less favourable outcomes. New strategies are needed with regard to resuscitation in aged care facilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-124
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - May 2018


  • Cardiac arrest
  • Follow-up studies
  • Geriatric
  • Health-related quality of life
  • Resuscitation

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