Primary hyperparathyroidism is a prevalent endocrinopathy for which surgery is the only curative option. Parathyroidectomy is primarily recommended in younger and symptomatic patients, while there are still concerns regarding surgical complications in older patients. We therefore assessed the association of age with surgical outcomes in patients undergoing parathyroidectomy in a large population in Switzerland.
Population-based cohort study of adult patients with primary hyperparathyroidism undergoing parathyroidectomy in Switzerland between 2012 and 2018. The cohort was divided into four age groups (<50 years, 50–64 years, 65–74 years, ≥75 years). The primary outcome was a composite of in-hospital postoperative complications. Secondary outcomes were intensive care unit (ICU) admission, unplanned 30-day-readmission, and prolonged length of hospital stay.
We studied 2642 patients with a median (IQR) age of 62 (53–71) years. Overall, 111 patients had complications including surgical re-intervention, hypocalcemia, and vocal cord paresis. As compared to <50 year-old patients, older patients had no increased risk for in-hospital complications after surgery (50–64 years: odds ratio (OR): 0.51 (95% CI, 0.28 to 0.92); 65–74 years: OR: 0.72 (95% CI, 0.39 to 1.33); ≥75 years: OR: 1.03 (95% CI, 0.54 to 1.95), respectively. There was also no association of age and rates of ICU-admission and unplanned 30-day-readmission, but oldest patients had longer hospital stays (OR: 2.38 (95% CI, 1.57 to 3.60)).
≥50 year-old patients undergoing parathyroidectomy had comparable risk of in-hospital complications as compared with younger ones. These data support parathyroidectomy in even older patients with primary hyperparathyroidism as performed in clinical routine.