Background — There are few comparative data regarding long-term nonfatal outcomes for women versus men after coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). This study compares gender differences in cardiac events in a population of hospital survivors up to 11 years after isolated CABG surgery in Ontario, Canada.
Methods and Results — A population-based cohort study (n=68,774 patients, 15,043 women) between September 1, 1991, and April 1, 2002, was assembled with linked clinical and administrative databases. Cox modeling and propensity score matching were used to compare death, cardiac readmission (angina, heart failure, myocardial infarction), repeat revascularization (angioplasty or CABG), and stroke readmission between men and women. Women were older (65+/-17 versus 62+/-13 years), more likely to present with urgent or emergent status (64% versus 56%), and less likely to receive arterial grafts (70% versus 78%). Women had a higher rate of cardiac readmission in the first year after surgery (hazard ratio [HR] of 1.5, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.36 to 1.56), and this increased risk persisted after 1 year (HR 1.2, 95% CI 1.14 to 1.31). This was primarily due to readmissions for unstable angina (HR 1.3, 95% CI 1.24 to 1.38) and congestive heart failure (HR 1.1, 95% CI 1.06 to 1.21). Propensity-matched women had similar rates of death (HR 0.9, 95% CI 0.83 to 0.98) and repeat revascularization (HR 1.0, 95% CI 0.91 to 1.06).
Conclusions — Women have a more complex clinical preoperative presentation and are more likely to be readmitted with unstable angina and congestive heart failure after CABG but experience survival similar to those seen in men. Gender differences in outcomes may be improved through durable revascularization strategies and close postoperative follow-up care targeted to women.
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