Background: Despite its wide use, evidence is inconclusive regarding the effect of percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) in patients with chronic diseases and dementia among hospitalized patients with malnutrition.
Objectives: To examine the effect of PEG insertion on prognosis after the procedure.
Methods: This retrospective analysis of medical records included all adult patients who underwent PEG insertion between 1 January 2009 and 31 December 2013 during their hospitalization. For each PEG patient, two controls similar in age, sex, referring department, and underlying condition were randomly selected from the entire dataset of patients admitted. The effect of PEG on mortality and repeated admissions was examined.
Results: The study comprised 154 patients, 49 referred for PEG insertion and 105 controls (mean age 74.8 ± 19.8 years; 72.7% females; 78.6% admitted to internal medicine units). Compared to controls, the PEG group had a higher 2-year mortality rate (59.2% vs. 17.1%, P < 0.001) but the 2-year readmission rate did not differ significantly (44.9% vs. 56.2% respectively, P = 0.191). Regression analysis showed PEG was associated with increased risk of the composite endpoint of death or readmission (hazard ratio 1.514, 95% confidence interval 1.016–2.255, P = 0.041). No specific characteristic of admission was associated with increased likelihood of death or readmission. Among readmitted patients, reasons for admission and baseline laboratory data, including albumin and cholesterol, did not differ between the PEG patients and controls.
Conclusions: In-hospital PEG insertion was associated with increased mortality at 2 years but had no effect on readmissions.