Background: Gender differences abound in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery. Most research was conducted in the early 1 990s. It is unknown if gender differences have diminished over time.
Research objectives: To determine whether gender differences exist in the current era of CABG surgery by examining preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative factors known to affect outcomes.
Subjects and methods: In this descriptive, correlational study of all patients undergoing primary, isolated CABG at a large, urban Midwestern healthcare center, data in 1993 and 2003 were analyzed to determine if gender and time differences existed and if there was a time and gender interaction effect. Trained nurses prospectively collected data during the index hospitalization for the institution's Cardiovascular Information Registry.
Results: 2,200 patients were studied; women accounted for one-fourth of the sample. Age over 65 years; current smoking; presence of hypertension, cerebrovascular accident; and insulin-dependent diabetes; symptomatic heart failure and chest pain were significantly associated with female gender (all P' s < .001). Intraoperatively, internal mammary arteries were used less as a graft conduit in women (P < .001); gender differences were most pronounced in patients requiring 2 bypass grafts. Postoperatively, cardiac pump failure and median hospital stay were greater in women (both P' s < .001); however, both decreased over time.
Conclusions: Gender differences continue to exist in patients undergoing CABG. Differences do not affect hospital mortality rates but play a role in hospital length of stay and may affect postdischarge recovery. Research targeted at modifiable preoperative factors may improve postoperative recovery.