Incisional hernia repairs among men age 65 years and older rose 24.2 percent in the United States from 2001 to 2010, according to a study by researchers from RTI International and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The study, published in JAMA Surgery, found emergent incisional hernia repairs also increased 3.2 percent per 100,000 persons between 2001 and 2010.
"The rising rates of emergent incisional hernia repair are troublesome due to the significantly increased risk of morbidity and mortality associated with the procedure," said Christopher Beadles, MD, senior research public health analyst in RTI's Health Care Quality and Outcomes center and lead author of the study. "While many factors play into this mortality risk, it is most likely associated with increasing prevalence of abdominal surgeries, older age and its associated conditions or diseases."
From 2001 to 2010, an estimated 2.3 million inpatient abdominal hernia repairs were performed, including approximately 576,000 urgent repairs. To calculate the total number of hernias and hernia types annually, researchers reviewed data from the National Center for Health Statistics National Hospital Discharge Survey, a nationally representative sample of impatient hospitalizations.
The study found emergent hernia repairs were highest among adults 65 years and older in 2010, confirming that the occurrence of hernia repair increases with age. From 2001 to 2010, rates of emergent hernia repairs among older men increased significantly from 7.8 to 32 percent, while rates among older women remained stable with 24.9 percent of emergent hernia surgeries in 2001 and 23.5 percent in 2010.
"Compared to elective hernia repair, emergent hernia procedures are often riskier and associated with increased morbidity, length of hospitalization and mortality," Beadles said. "Our study presents critical data to describe the trends in emergent hernia operations and the efforts needed to reduce the life-threatening risks of this growing procedure."
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