Cardiovascular risk assessment before noncardiac surgery is critical, could predict outcomes

Doctors should do a comprehensive assessment of the cardiovascular health, and potential risks, of any patient who will undergo noncardiac surgery. This evaluation, which includes a medical history and physical examination, might predict complications during and after the surgery, NHLBI-funded researchers concluded from a review of the evidence.  

In the US., 3% of patients hospitalized for noncardiac surgery suffer perioperative cardiovascular complications. Searching for ways to reduce this risk, the researchers reviewed studies published between January 1, 1949 and January 27, 2020. The findings were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The evidence supports the thorough cardiovascular testing, rarely indicated for patients perceived as low risk. However, it might be useful in a much broader swath of patients and test results could lead to a change in pre and postoperative therapy, as well as anesthesia or surgical approaches.