Association of perioperative hypotension with subsequent greater healthcare resource utilization

Wolf H. Stapelfeldt, Ashish K. Khanna, Andrew D. Shaw, Apeksha V. Shenoy, Seungyoung Hwang, Mitali Stevens, Nathan J. Smischney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Study objective: Determine if perioperative hypotension, a modifiable risk factor, is associated with increased postoperative healthcare resource utilization (HRU). Design: Retrospective cohort study. Setting: Multicenter using the Optum® electronic health record database. Patients: Patients discharged to the ward after non-cardiac, non-obstetric surgeries between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2017 with six months of data, before and after the surgical visit. Interventions/Exposure: Perioperative hypotension, a binary variable (presence/absence) at an absolute MAP of ≤65-mmHg, measured during surgery and within 48-h after, to dichotomize patients with greater versus lesser hypotensive exposures. Measurements: Short-term HRU defined by postoperative length-of-stay (LOS), discharge to a care facility, and 30-day readmission following surgery discharge. Mid-term HRU (within 6 months post-discharge) quantified via number of outpatient and emergency department (ED) visits, and readmission LOS. Main results: 42,800 distinct patients met study criteria and 37.5% experienced perioperative hypotension. After adjusting for study covariates including patient demographics and comorbidities, patients with perioperative hypotension had: longer LOS (4.01 vs. 3.83 days; LOS ratio, 1.05; 95% CI, 1.04–1.06), higher odds of discharge to a care facility (OR, 1.18; 95% CI, 1.12–1.24; observed rate 22.1% vs. 18.1%) and of 30-day readmission (OR, 1.22; 95% CI, 1.11–1.33; observed rate 6.2% vs. 5.0%) as compared to the non-hypotensive population (all outcomes, p < 0.001). During 6-month follow-up, patients with perioperative hypotension showed significantly greater HRU regarding number of ED visits (0.34 vs. 0.31 visits; visit ratio, 1.10; 95% CI, 1.05–1.15) and readmission LOS (1.06 vs. 0.92 days; LOS ratio, 1.15; 95% CI, 1.07–1.24) but not outpatient visits (10.47 vs. 10.82; visit ratio, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.95–0.99) compared to those without hypotension. There was no difference in HRU during the 6-month period before qualifying surgery. Conclusions: We report a significant association of perioperative hypotension with an increase in HRU, including additional LOS and readmissions, both important contributors to overall medical costs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number110516
JournalJournal of Clinical Anesthesia
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Emergency department visit
  • Healthcare resource utilization
  • Length of stay
  • Non-cardiac surgery
  • Outpatient visit
  • Perioperative hypotension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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