Red blood cell distribution width is associated with mortality in elderly patients with sepsis

An Yi Wang, Hon Ping Ma, Wei Fong Kao, Shin Han Tsai, Cheng Kuei Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: RDW is a prognostic biomarker and associated with mortality in cardiovascular disease, stroke and metabolic syndrome. For elderly patients, malnutrition and multiple comorbidities exist, which could affect the discrimination ability of RDW in sepsis. The main purpose of our study was to evaluate the prognostic value of RDW in sepsis among elderly patients. Methods: This was a retrospective cohort study conducted in emergency department intensive care units (ED-ICU) between April 2015 and November 2015. Elderly patients (≥. 65. years old) who were admitted to the ED-ICU with a diagnosis of severe sepsis and/or septic shock were included. The demographic data, biochemistry data, qSOFA, and APACHE II score were compared between survivors and nonsurvivors. Results: A total of 117 patients was included with mean age 81.5. ±. 8.3. years old. The mean APACHE II score was 21.9. ±. 7.1. In the multivariate Cox proportional hazards model, RDW level was an independent variable for mortality (hazard ratio: 1.18 [1.03-1.35] for each 1% increase in RDW, p = 0.019), after adjusting for CCI, any diagnosed malignancy, and eGFR. The AUC of RDW in predicting mortality was 0.63 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.52-0.74, p = 0.025). In subgroup analysis, for qSOFA <. 2, nonsurvivors had higher RDW levels than survivors (17.0. ±. 3.3 vs. 15.3. ±. 1.4%, p = 0.044). Conclusions: In our study, RDW was an independent predictor of in-hospital mortality in elderly patients with sepsis. For qSOFA scores <. 2, higher RDW levels were associated with poor prognosis. RDW could be a potential parameter used alongside the clinical prediction rules.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)949-953
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Aged
  • Red blood cell distribution width
  • Sepsis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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