The influence of gender on the outcome of coronary artery bypass surgery

Ann Thorac Surg. 2000 Sep;70(3):800-5; discussion 806. doi: 10.1016/s0003-4975(00)01563-0.


Background: To assess the impact of gender as an independent risk factor for early and late morbidity and mortality following coronary artery bypass surgery.

Methods: Perioperative and long-term data on all 4,823 patients undergoing isolated coronary bypass operations from November 1989 to July 1998 were analyzed. Of these patients, 932 (19.3%) were females.

Results: During the years 1989 to 1998 there was a progressive increase in the percentage of women undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery. The following preoperative risk factors were more prevalent among women than men: age above 70, angina class 3 or 4, urgent operation, preoperative intraaortic balloon pump usage, congestive heart failure, previous percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty, diabetes, hypertension, and peripheral vascular disease (all p < 0.05). Men were more likely to have an ejection fraction less than 35%, three-vessel disease, repeat operations, and a recent history of smoking. Women had a statistically significant smaller mean body surface area than men (1.72+/-0.18 versus 1.96%+/-0.26% m2). On average, women had fewer bypass grafts constructed than men (2.9%+/-0.8% versus 3.2%+/-0.9%) and were less likely to have internal mammary artery grafting (76.2% versus 86.1%), multiple arterial conduits (10.1% versus 19.8%), or coronary endarterectomy performed (4.9% versus 8.6%). The early mortality rate in women was 2.7% versus 1.8% in men (p = 0.09). Women were more prone to perioperative myocardial infarction (4.5% versus 3.1% p < 0.05). After adjustment for other risk variables, female gender was not an independent predictor of early mortality but was a weak independent predictor for the prespecified composite endpoint of death, perioperative myocardial infarction, intraaortic balloon counterpulsation pump insertion, or stroke (8.55 versus 5.9%; odds ratio, 1.30; 95% confidence interval, 0.99 to 1.68; p = 0.05) Recurrent angina class 3 or 4 was more frequent in female patients (15.2%+/-4.0% versus 8.5%+/-2.0% at 60 months, p = 0.001) but not repeat revascularization procedures (percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty, redo) (0.6%+/-0.3% versus 4.1%+/-0.8% at 60 months). Actuarial survival at 60 months was greater in women then men (93.1%+/-1.7% versus 90.0%+/-1.0%), and after adjustment for other risk variables, female gender was protective for late survival (risk ratio, 0.40; 95% confidence interval, 0.16-0.74; p < 0.005).

Conclusions: Perioperative complications were increased and recurrent angina more frequent in women. Despite this, late survival was increased in women compared with men after adjustment for other risk variables

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Angina Pectoris / complications
  • Angioplasty, Balloon, Coronary
  • Body Surface Area
  • Coronary Artery Bypass* / mortality
  • Diabetes Complications
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / complications
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Recurrence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vascular Diseases / complications