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Non cardiac surgery is becoming increasingly common in elderly patients; they are usually affected by overt cardiac disease or show multiple risk factors, responsible for a higher incidence of perioperative fatal or nonfatal cardiac events. Of interest, acute myocardial infarction occurring in the perioperative period shows a high mortality rate in people over 65 years old. The cardiovascular risk stratification and perioperative management of subjects undergoing noncardiac surgery have been recently updated in the 2014 European Society of Cardiology Guidelines. However, several critical points still lack of strong evidence and are based on expert opinions only. For example, the use of drugs, such as betablockers, before, during and after the surgery, presents many uncertainties regarding the selection of patients more likely to benefit, dosage and duration of therapy, and effects on outcome. Data on elderly patients undergoing non cardiac surgery are scarce. Accordingly, a prospective registry enrolling a large number of aged subjects undergoing non cardiac surgery (particularly at high or intermediate risk) should be able to give us adequate insights on the management strategies currently used, on the incidence of death or cardiovascular events in the postoperative period and on the areas of potential improvement in care. Furthermore, the effects on outcome of structured programs of Guidelines implementation in the clinical practice of cardiologists, anesthesiologists and other health personnel involved in perioperative care, could be positive and should be evaluated.
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