Candidaemia in the elderly has not been extensively investigated.
We compared the management of candidaemia in the elderly patients (age ≥ 65 years) and the very elderly subgroup of patients (age ≥ 75 years) with those belonging to the younger group (age < 65 years) using the European Confederation of Medical Mycology (ECMM) Quality (EQUAL) standard.
Over a 10-year period (April 2011-March 2020), patients with candida bloodstream infection were identified. Data pertaining to demographics, clinical risk factors, antifungal treatment, central venous catheter, and investigations such as echocardiogram and fundoscopy were obtained from electronic sources and medical case notes.
A total of 174 episodes of candidaemia were recorded, comprising of 74 episodes in younger patients and 100 in the elderly, of whom 56 were in the very elderly patients. Of the 177 Candida species recovered, 79 were Candida albicans. EQUAL scores were analysed for 148 patients. The mean score was significantly lower in the elderly (10.4) and the very elderly (9.7) patients compared to the patients in the younger age group (12.19) (p <0.01). In particular, this was due to lower blood culture volume drawn (p <0.01) and, in the very elderly group, significantly lower scores for the quality indicators pertaining to echocardiogram and fundoscopy (p= 0.03). The overall mean EQUAL score was 11.16 (median 11; interquartile range 8-14). The 30-day survival was 68% and was similar between all groups.
Areas of improvement were identified in the management of candidaemia in the elderly patients.
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