Ulf Aasebø, Tom Wilsgaard and Hasse Melbye contributed equally to this work.
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
Concept and design (MLV, HM, UA). Data collection (HM). Data analysis and interpretation (MLV, TW, HM). Drafting the manuscript (MLV, HM). Revision and final approval of the manuscript (all authors).
Oxygen saturation has been shown in risk score models to predict mortality in emergency medicine. The aim of this study was to determine whether low oxygen saturation measured by a single-point measurement by pulse oximetry (SpO2) is associated with increased mortality in the general adult population.
Pulse oximetry was performed in 5,152 participants in a cross-sectional survey in Tromsø, Norway, in 2001–2002 (“Tromsø 5”). Ten-year follow-up data for all-cause mortality and cause of death were obtained from the National Population and the Cause of Death Registries, respectively. Cause of death was grouped into four categories: cardiovascular disease, cancer except lung cancer, pulmonary disease, and others. SpO2 categories were assessed as predictors for all-cause mortality and death using Cox proportional-hazards regression models after correcting for age, sex, smoking history, body mass index (BMI), C-reactive protein level, self-reported diseases, respiratory symptoms, and spirometry results.
The mean age was 65.8 years, and 56% were women. During the follow-up, 1,046 (20.3%) participants died. The age- and sex-adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) (95% confidence intervals) for all-cause mortality were 1.99 (1.33–2.96) for SpO2 ≤ 92% and 1.36 (1.15–1.60) for SpO2 93–95%, compared with SpO2 ≥ 96%. In the multivariable Cox proportional-hazards regression models that included self-reported diseases, respiratory symptoms, smoking history, BMI, and CRP levels as the explanatory variables, SpO2 remained a significant predictor of all-cause mortality. However, after including forced expiratory volume in 1 s percent predicted (FEV1% predicted), this association was no longer significant. Mortality caused by pulmonary diseases was significantly associated with SpO2 even when FEV1% predicted was included in the model.
Low oxygen saturation was independently associated with increased all-cause mortality and mortality caused by pulmonary diseases. When FEV1% predicted was included in the analysis, the strength of the association weakened but was still statistically significant for mortality caused by pulmonary diseases.
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- Low oxygen saturation and mortality in an adult cohort: the Tromsø study
Monica Linea Vold
- BioMed Central
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