Study Objective: To determine the short- and long-term benefits of noninvasive home mechanical ventilation (NIHMV) in patients aged 65 and older who were eligible for this treatment. Design and Setting: This retrospective, comparative, longitudinal study was carried out in a tertiary care hospital in Barcelona (Spain). Patients and Methods: The study included all patients in whom NIHMV with a nasal mask was established in the period from 1998 to 2001. Patients were divided into 3 groups according to age: group 1 (n = 10) ≧75; group 2 (n = 40) 65–74, and group 3 (n = 41) <65 years old. Clinical characteristics, pulmonary function results, and arterial blood gas findings were assessed in all patients before starting ventilation and after 6 months. Measurements and Results: Statistically significant improvements in PaO2 (13.4, 10, and 15.3 mm Hg for groups 1–3) and PaCO2 (–17.6, –9.6 and –12.8 mm Hg for groups 1–3) were found at 6 months (p < 0.001 in all cases). There were no significant differences between the groups in blood gas parameters and treatment compliance. The incidence of related adverse events was not statistically different between the study groups (40%, 35% and 32% for groups 1–3; p = 0.859). Conclusions: NIHMV is effective in all patients for whom it is indicated, regardless of their age.
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