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PHILADELPHIA—Results of a population-based study suggest that elderly adults in the US have seen an increase in the rate of transfusion-associated circulatory overload (TACO) in the last few years.

The risk of TACO increased with advancing age and with increases in the number of units transfused.

TACO rates also appeared to be related to the type of blood components transfused. Patients were more likely to develop TACO if they received red blood cells (RBCs) with plasma and/or platelets.

Mikhail Menis, PharmD, of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research at the US Food and Drug Administration in Rockville, Maryland, and his colleagues presented these findings in a poster (SP203) at the AABB Annual Meeting 2014.

The researchers conducted this retrospective, claims-based study to assess TACO occurrence and potential risk factors for the condition among elderly Medicare beneficiaries (aged 65 and older) who were transfused as inpatients from 2011 through 2013.

Among the 6,382,814 inpatient transfusion stays, 4405 included a record of TACO. So the overall rate of TACO was 69.0 per 100,000 stays.

TACO rates (per 100,000) increased significantly over time, from 63.0 in 2011 to 68.0 in 2012 and 77.1 in 2013 (P<0.001).

TACO rates also increased significantly with age—44.5 for patients age 65 to 69, 58.8 for patients age 70 to 74, 66.4 for patients age 75 to 79, 78.7 for patients age 80 to 84, and 91.6 for patients age 85 and older (P<0.001).

Women had a significantly higher rate of TACO than men—76.9 and 58.9, respectively (P<0.001), and whites had a significantly higher rate of TACO than non-whites—73.0 and 49.8, respectively (P<0.001).

In addition, the rate of TACO increased significantly with the number of units transfused. Rates were 30.9 for 1 unit, 63.3 for 2 to 4 units, 103.0 for 5 to 9 units, and 139.8 for more than 9 units (P<0.001).

And TACO rates differed according to the type of blood components transfused. The rate of TACO was 29.2 for patients who received only platelets, 60.8 for those received only plasma, and 73.0 for those who received only RBCs.

The rates were 37.8 for patients who received platelets and plasma; 143.5 for those who received RBCs, plasma, and platelets; 167.9 for those who received RBCs and platelets; and 191.4 for those who received RBCs and plasma.

The researchers noted that this study had its limitations, including potential under-recording or misrecording of transfusion procedures and units, as well as a lack of clinical details to validate TACO diagnoses.

In addition, the rate comparisons were not adjusted for potential confounders, but the researchers are planning to perform adjusted analyses to confirm potential risk factors for TACO in the elderly. ht-logo-end

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