Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Geriatrics and BioMed Central.

Open Access Research article

Clinical and inflammatory response to bloodstream infections in octogenarians

Jessica Emily Green1*, Yohanes Ariathianto2, Si Mun Wong3, Craig Aboltins4 and Kwang Lim5

Author Affiliations

1 Austin Health, 145 Studley Rd, Heidelberg 3084, Australia

2 Department of Medicine and Geriatrics, Northern Health, The Northern Hospital, 185 Cooper St, Epping 3076, Australia

3 Aged Care Department, Eastern Health, Box Hill Hospital, Nelson Rd, Box Hill 3128, Australia

4 Department of Infectious Diseases and Internal Medicine, Northern Health, University of Melbourne, The Northern Hospital, 185 Cooper St, Epping 3076, Australia

5 Department of Medicine and Geriatrics, Northern Health, University of Melbourne, The Northern Hospital, 185 Cooper St, Epping 3076, Australia

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Geriatrics 2014, 14:55  doi:10.1186/1471-2318-14-55

Published: 23 April 2014



Given the increasing incidence of bacteraemia causing significant morbidity and mortality in older patients, this study aimed to compare the clinical features, laboratory findings and mortality of patients over the age of 80 to younger adults.


This study was a retrospective, observational study. Participants were taken to be all patients aged 18 and above with confirmed culture positive sepsis, admitted to a large metropolitan hospital in the year 2010. Measurements taken included patient demographics (accommodation, age, sex, comorbidities), laboratory investigations (white cell count, neutrophil count, C-reactive protein, microbiology results), clinical features (vital signs, presence of localising symptoms, complications, place of acquisition).


A total of 1367 patient episodes were screened and 155 met study inclusion criteria. There was no statistically significant difference between likelihood of fever or systolic blood pressure between younger and older populations (p-values of 0.81 and 0.64 respectively). Neutrophil count was higher in the older cohort (pā€‰=ā€‰0.05). Higher Charlson (J Chronic Dis40(5):373ā€“383, 1987) comorbidity index, greater age and lower systolic blood pressure were found to be statistically significant predictors of mortality (p-values of 0.01, 0.02 and 0.03 respectively).


The findings of this study indicate older patients are more likely to present without localising features. However, importantly, there is no significant difference in the likelihood of fever or inflammatory markers. This study also demonstrates the importance of the Charlson Index of Comorbidities (J Chronic Dis40(5):373ā€“383, 1987) as a predictive factor for mortality, with age and hypotension being less important but statistically significant predictive factors of mortality.

Bacteraemia; Sepsis; Inflammatory response; Octogenarians