Ann Surg Treat Res.  2021 Jan;100(1):8-17. 10.4174/astr.2021.100.1.8.

Are the elderly patient’s changes in the health‑related quality of life one year after gastrectomy for stomach cancer different from those in young patients?

  • 1Department of Surgery, SMG-SNU Boramae Medical Center, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Department of Biostatistics, Bioinformatics, and Biomathematics, Georgetown University, Washington DC, USA


Gastrectomy for elderly patients can significantly deteriorate the health-related quality of life (HRQoL). There was no report comparing HRQoL of elderly patients with young patients after gastrectomy for gastric cancer. This study assessed the differences in the changes of HRQoL at one year after gastrectomy according to age.
From May 2014 to Feb 2016, we prospectively enrolled patients undergoing gastrectomy for gastric cancer. They completed the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer and gastric questionnaires preoperatively and at postoperative 1, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months.
We included 57 elderly patients (≥70 years old) and 74 younger patients. The elderly had similar demographic, surgical, and pathological characteristics with young patients except that elderly had more comorbidity, laparoscopic gastrectomies, and lesser postoperative chemotherapy. One month after gastrectomy, the score of global health status/ quality of life, physical, role, and social functioning were significantly impaired in elderly patients. Among them, physical and role functioning were more impaired than those of young patients. The scores of physical functioning, role functioning, cognitive functioning, and social functioning were not fully recovered till 1 year after surgery. There was a significant age group difference in the changes in physical function over the 1-year follow-up.
Elderly patients’ global health status/quality of life and social functioning significantly decreased at postoperative 1 month and recovered by 6 months after gastrectomy. There was a significant age-specific difference in physical functioning throughout the 1-year follow-up. Surgeons need to pay more attention to recovery of the elderly patients’ HRQoL after gastrectomy.


Elderly patients; Gastrectomy; Gastric cancer; Quality of life
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