Septic arthritis significantly increased the long-term mortality in geriatric patients

Chia Jung Wu, Chien Cheng Huang, Shih Feng Weng, Ping Jen Chen, Chien Chin Hsu, Jhi Joung Wang, How Ran Guo, Hung Jung Lin

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10 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The elderly are predisposed to septic arthritis (SA) because of the aging nature and increasing comorbidities. SA may in turn increase the long-term mortality in the geriatric patients; however, it remains unclear. We conducted this prospective nationwide population-based cohort study to clarify this issue. Methods: Using Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD), we identified 1667 geriatric participants (≥ 65 years) with SA and 16,670 geriatric participants without SA matched at a ratio of 1:10 by age, sex, and index date between 1999 and 2010. A comparison of the long-term mortality between the two cohorts through follow-up until 2011 was performed. Results: Geriatric participants with SA had a significantly increased mortality than those without SA [Adjusted hazard ratio (AHR): 1.49, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.34-1.66], particularly the old elderly (≥ 85 years, AHR: 2.12, 95% CI: 1.58-2.84) and males (AHR: 1.54, 95% CI: 1.33-1.79). These results were stated after adjustment for osteoarthritis, diabetes, gout, renal disease, liver disease, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, alcoholism, and human immunodeficiency virus infection. The increased mortality risk was highest in the first month (AHR: 3.93, 95% CI: 2.94-5.25) and remained increased even after following up for 2-4 years (AHR: 1.30, 95% CI: 1.03-1.65). After Cox proportional hazard regression analysis, SA (AHR: 1.37, 95% CI: 1.20-1.56), older age (≥ 85 years, AHR: 1.79, 95% CI: 1.59-2.02, 75-84 years, AHR: 1.65, 95% CI: 1.53-1.78), male sex, diabetes, renal disease, liver disease, cancer, and gout were independent mortality predictors. There was no significant difference in the mortality for SA between upper limb affected and lower limb affected. Conclusions: This study delineated that SA significantly increased the long-term mortality in geriatric participants. For the increasing aging population worldwide, strategies for the prevention and treatment of SA and concomitant control of comorbidities are very important.

Original languageEnglish
Article number178
JournalBMC geriatrics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Aug 9

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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