Researchers say most 80-plus seniors could benefit from bypass surgery

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British researchers contend that most 80-year-olds should undergo heart bypass surgery because those who do tend to outlive their peers.

The study findings, published in the British Medical Journal Heart, were based on 12,461 patients, 706 of whom were more than 80-years-old at the time of surgery. All underwent the surgery between 1996 and 2003.

The percentage of patients 80 or older undergoing bypass surgery more than doubled during the study period, from slightly more than 4% to nearly 10%.

Although the risk of dying was higher in the 80-plus group and they required a longer stay in intensive care than their younger counterparts, scientists said the elderly group's survival rates were 50% better after the first year of surgery than their peers in the general population who did not undergo surgery.