Background: Diabetes mellitus is an established independent risk factor for significant morbidity and mortality after coronary artery bypass grafting.
Methods: The impact of diabetes on short- and longterm follow-up after coronary artery bypass grafting was studied by comparing the outcomes between 9,920 patients without diabetes mellitus and 2,278 patients with diabetes from 1978 to 1993.
Results: Compared with nondiabetic patients, the group with diabetes was older (62+/-10 years versus 60+/-10 years), comprised more women (31% versus 19%), had a greater incidence of hypertension (61% versus 44%) and previous myocardial infarction (51% versus 48%), had class III-IV angina more commonly (69% versus 63%), showed a higher incidence of congestive heart failure (11% versus 5%) or triple-vessel or left main disease (60% versus 50%), and had lower ejection fractions (0.54 versus 0.57) (all, p< or =0.05). Diabetic patients had a higher incidence of postoperative death (3.9% versus 1.6%) and stroke (2.9% versus 1.4%) (both, p< or =0.05), but not Q wave myocardial infarction (1.8% versus 2.9%). Diabetics had lower survival (5 years, 78% versus 88%; 10 years, 50% versus 71%; both, p< or =0.05) and lower freedom from percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (5 years, 95% versus 96%; 10 years, 83% versus 86%; latter, p< or =0.05), but diabetics did not have lower freedom from either myocardial infarction (5-years, 92% versus 92%; 10-years, 80% versus 84%) or additional coronary artery bypass grafting (5-years, 98% versus 99%; 10-years, 90% versus 91%). Multivariate correlates of long-term mortality were diabetes, older age, reduced ejection fraction, hypertension, congestive heart failure, number of vessels diseased, and urgent or emergent operation.
Conclusions: Diabetics have a worse hospital and longterm outcome after coronary artery bypass grafting. The increased risk in such patients can only partially be explained by other demographic characteristics.