Skip to main content

Survival and quality of life 12 years after ICU. A comparison with the general Norwegian population


Objectives: To study the long-term (12 year) survival and quality of life (QOL) in former ICU patients. Setting: Two hundred and thirty-six ICU admissions from a total of 219 patients treated in a Norwegian University Hospital in 1987. Design and methods: A retrospective analysis of the ICU stays and a prospective observation of survival using available information from the Norwegian Peoples Registry. QOL was studied in survivors in 2000 using the Short Form-36 (SF-36) questionnaire. Survival was compared with available statistics for the general Norwegian population (gender- and age-matched), and QOL was compared with published data from a Norwegian reference population. Interventions: None. Results: A total of 106 (48.4%) patients survived the first 12 years after ICU. Of the non-survivors (113) 66.4% died within the first year. Two years after discharge the further survival of former ICU patients was 0.763 compared to 0.826 in the general population (difference 0.063 with 95% CI from –0.007 to 0.134). QOL was significantly less than in the reference population in six of the eight scales of SF-36 (average 82.5%). Conclusions: Our findings indicate that the long-term outcome after ICU is good, with an acceptable QOL and a life expectancy comparable with the general population in survivors 2 years after the ICU stay.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Author information



Additional information

Final revision received: 6 March 2001

Electronic Publication

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Flaatten, H., Kvåle, R. Survival and quality of life 12 years after ICU. A comparison with the general Norwegian population. Intensive Care Med 27, 1005–1011 (2001).

Download citation

  • Intensive care Outcome Survival Quality of life