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Anesthesia, Outcomes, and Public Health: Changing Health Care While “Asleep”
  1. Jashvant Poeran, MD, PhD*,
  2. Madhu Mazumdar, PhD* and
  3. Stavros G. Memtsoudis, MD, PhD, FCCP*,
  1. *Department of Healthcare Policy and Research, Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, New York, NY
  2. Department of Anesthesiology, Hospital for Special Surgery, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY
  1. Address correspondence to: Jashvant Poeran, MD, PhD, Department of Healthcare Policy and Research, Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Weill Cornell Medical College, 402 E 67th St, New York, NY 10065 (e-mail: v.j.j.poeran{at}


Abstract More than 50 million surgical procedures are performed annually in the United States, with perioperative complications and related long-term adverse outcomes profoundly affecting the nation’s health. A growing number of studies recognize that type of anesthesia, a main determinant of perioperative care, is associated with perioperative morbidity and mortality. Emerging data suggest, for example, that anesthesia may be a determinant of cancer recurrence after surgery. Further research is needed to elucidate the impact of anesthesia-related factors on short- and long-term health outcomes. Progress in this area of medicine and its public-health consequences will depend largely on the interest of the public, researchers, and health care policy makers.

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  • The authors declare no conflict of interest.

    Drs Poeran and Mazumdar are supported in part by funds from the Clinical Translational Science Center, New York, NY. Dr Memtsoudis is funded by the Anna Maria and Stephen Kellen Career Development Award.