Outcomes of coronary surgery at a Veterans Affairs hospital versus other hospitals

J Surg Res. 2009 Sep;156(1):150-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2009.03.041. Epub 2009 May 3.


Background: The aim of this study was to compare outcomes of coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) operations at a VA hospital and non-VA hospitals.

Materials and methods: Using the 2004 Nationwide Inpatient Sample database, we identified 48,669 discharge records of patients who underwent CABG in non-VA hospitals and compared these patients' outcomes with those of 688 patients who underwent CABG at our VA hospital from 2002 to 2006. Student t- tests and chi(2) tests were used to identify significant intergroup differences.

Results: The VA patients were slightly younger than the non-VA patients (62 +/- 8 versus 66 +/- 11 y, P < 0.0001). The VA patients also had a higher prevalence of prior myocardial infarction (60.6% versus 34.6%), congestive heart failure (38.2% versus 22.1%), peripheral vascular disease (25.9% versus 7.2%), cerebral vascular disease (23.4% versus 5.9%), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (32.3% versus 16.6%), and diabetes (41.7% versus 29.7%) (P < 0.0001 for all). Nonetheless, the in-hospital mortality rate was significantly lower in VA patients than in non-VA patients (1.6% versus 3.0%, P = 0.03).

Conclusions: Despite the higher prevalence of comorbidities, patients who underwent CABG at a VA hospital had a significantly lower mortality rate than CABG patients in non-VA hospitals.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Coronary Artery Bypass / standards*
  • Female
  • Hospitals, Veterans / standards*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Health Care*