Introduction: Perioperative period particularly in the elderly is associated with unstable circulatory status, depending on patients' baseline conditions, anesthetic techniques and medications, as well as types of surgical procedures. Objective: To study the characteristics and risk factors of perioperative cardiovascular, cerebrovascular and renovascular complications in patients ≥ 50 years undergoing non-cardiovascular abdominal and lower limb operations.

Methods: Retrospective review of hospital records of 1975 patients operated in the period from January 2004 to June 2005, taken from our hospital archive. Results: Their mean age was 63.1±10.1 years and 44.4% were male. There were 1121 perioperative complications, including acute hypertension (576), arrhythmias (sinus tachycardia, atrio-ventricular block, atrial fribrillation, ventricular fibrillation) (455), acute renal insufficiency (32), coronary artery disease (56) and stroke (2). Nineteen patients (1%) died of multiple organ dysfunction syndrome. The incidence of perioperative complications increased with age. Analgesics were given to 958 patients (48.5%) in postoperative period for pain control. The incidence of perioperative arrhythmias and coronary artery disease in analgesic group was higher than non-analgesic group (p < 0.01). Conclusion: Perioperative vascular complications of patients (particularly in the elderly) are common. More vigilant perioperative evaluation and more efficient perioperative pain control are needed.