Aim: The incidence of Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia (SAB) increases with advancing age with higher mortality reported in older adults. We aimed to describe the clinical presentation, management and outcomes of older patients with SAB. Methods: We analyzed data from a retrospectively collected database including 1692 patients with SAB, and compared 1158 older patients (≥65 years) with 534 younger patients (<65 years) in terms of clinical features, management of infection, and outcomes. Results: Older patients were significantly less likely to be febrile on presentation, with 37.5 % (415/1106) of older patients presenting with normal body temperature [versus 29.2 % (152/520) of younger patients]. Older patients were however, more likely to have leukocytosis, septic shock, lower heart rate and lower diastolic blood pressure compared with younger patients. Management of older patients included significantly less imaging studies, performance of transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) and infectious diseases consultation. TEE was performed less in older patients [124/726 (17.1 %) versus 72/285 (25.3 %)]. Mortality was significantly higher in older patients [550/1158 (47.5 %) versus 124/534 (23.2 %)], with predictors for mortality for the entire cohort in multivariate analysis including older age, higher Charlson comorbidity index, female sex, impaired functional capacity, pneumonia or primary bacteremia, and non-performance of TEE. Conclusions: Mortality rates in older patients with SAB are higher compared with younger patients. Several diagnostic and therapeutic procedures in the management of SAB were less likely to be performed in older patients in our cohort. These may have implications on outcome and should not be dismissed on the basis of age alone.
- Staph aureus bacteremia