Improving 30-day mortality after PEG tube placement in England from 2007 to 2019: a retrospective national cohort analysis of 87,862 patients

      Background and Aims

      PEG has been associated with poor case selection and high mortality. We examined indications, 30-day mortality, and 7-day adverse events in a national cohort undergoing PEG tube insertion.


      Adult patients undergoing their first PEG tube insertion from 2007 to 2019 were identified in the Hospital Episode Statistics database. Indications and adverse events were identified using International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th Revision codes. Multivariable logistic regression modeling examined factors associated with mortality.


      Of 87,682 patients identified, 58% were men and median age was 69 years (interquartile range, 57-79). The number of patients with dementia or stroke as the indication for PEG fell from 2007 to 2019 (dementia, from 147 to 28 [P < .001]; stroke, from 2851 to 1781 [P < .001]). The median interval from stroke admission to PEG tube insertion increased from 21 (interquartile range, 12-36) to 28 (interquartile range, 13-45) days (P < .001). Aspiration pneumonia within 7 days of PEG fell from 10.2% to 8.6% (P = .04). Thirty-day mortality fell from 13.2% to 5.3% (P < .001), with associated factors of increasing age (≥82 years quintile odds ratio [OR], 4.44; 95% confidence interval [CI], 4.01-4.92), PEG tube insertion during emergency admission (OR, 2.10; 95% CI, 1.97-2.25), Charlson comorbidity score ≥5 (OR, 1.67; 95% CI, 1.53-1.82), and dementia (OR, 1.46; 95% CI, 1.26-1.71). Female sex (OR, .81; 95% CI, .77-.85), least-deprived quintile (OR, .88; 95% CI, .81-.95), and more recent years of PEG tube insertion (2019; OR, .44; 95% CI, .39-.51) were negatively associated with mortality.


      Thirty-day mortality after PEG tube insertion has fallen 60% over 13 years. Dementia or stroke as an indication for PEG fell, and the time interval from stroke to PEG tube insertion increased. These findings may be attributable to improved patient selection and timing for PEG tube insertion.

      Graphical abstract


      CI (confidence interval), HES (Hospital Episode Statistics), ICD-10 (International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th Revision), NCEPOD (National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death), NHS (National Health Service), OR (odds ratio)
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      Linked Article

      • Reduction in mortality after percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy tube insertion is likely due to careful patient selection
        Gastrointestinal EndoscopyVol. 96Issue 6
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          The insertion of a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) tube is an invaluable tool to gain long-term nutritional support for patients who cannot meet their nutritional needs for any of several reasons, with a vast volume of data showing that for certain conditions this procedure can improve patient outcomes. Unfortunately, PEG tube insertion has several adverse events, such as aspiration pneumonia, bleeding, infection, leakage, and tube dysfunction or displacement. Minor adverse events can be common and under-reported; more major adverse events arise in approximately 3% of PEG tube insertions.
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