Background: Coronary bypass surgery (CABG) and angioplasty (PTCA) have been compared in several randomized trials, but data about long-term economic and quality-of-life outcomes are limited.
Methods and results: Cost and quality-of-life data were collected prospectively from 934 patients who were randomized in the Bypass Angioplasty Revascularization Investigation (BARI) and followed up for 10 to 12 years. CABG had 53% higher costs initially, but the gap closed to <5% during the first 2 years; after 12 years, the mean cumulative cost of CABG patients was 123,000 dollars versus 120,750 dollars for PTCA, yielding a cost-effectiveness ratio of 14,300 dollars/life-year added. CABG patients experienced significantly greater improvement in their physical functioning for the first 3 years but not in later follow-up. Recurrent angina substantially reduced all quality-of-life measures throughout follow-up. Cumulative costs were significantly higher among patients with diabetes, heart failure, and comorbid conditions and among women; costs also were increased by angina, by the number of revascularization procedures, and among patients who died.
Conclusions: Early differences between CABG and PTCA in costs and quality of life were no longer significant at 10 to 12 years of follow-up. CABG was cost-effective as compared with PTCA for multivessel disease.