Under-use of secondary prevention medication in acute coronary syndrome patients treated with in-hospital coronary artery bypass graft surgery

N Z Med J. 2011 Sep 23;124(1343):18-27.


Background: Acute coronary syndrome (ACS) patients treated with inpatient coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery are at significant risk for future Major Adverse Cardiovascular events (MACE). The use of evidence-based medications (aspirin, statins, beta-blockers and angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors/angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBS)) can reduce MACE in these patients.

Methods: We used a prospective database of all patients admitted to the Green Lane Cardiovascular Service, Coronary Care Unit (CCU) at Auckland City Hospital (ACH). We contacted patients General Practitioners for current patient data including MACE, which was supplemented by using the hospital patient records.

Results: From 1/6/2006 to 31/7/2007, 901 patients presented with an ACS; of these 129 received inpatient CABG. 2 patients died before hospital discharge. At a median follow up time of 2.9 [IQR 2.7-3.3] years, 109 (86%) patients were traced and their medication assessed. Only 90 (83%) patients remained on aspirin, 78 (72%) on statins, 67 (62%) on beta-blockers and 47 (43%) on ACE inhibitors/ARBs. From the total of 127 patients discharged from hospital, there were a total of 18 MACE (6.2%/year): 3 unstable angina, 4 non-ST elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI), 6 congestive heart failure (CHF) and 5 deaths.

Conclusion: Suboptimal use of secondary prevention drugs in high risk ACS patients treated with urgent CABG surgery may contribute to subsequent adverse events. Greater efforts to optimise the use of these medications are needed to improve outcomes.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Coronary Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Acute Coronary Syndrome / prevention & control*
  • Acute Coronary Syndrome / surgery
  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Aged
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Aspirin / therapeutic use
  • Cardiac Output
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Coronary Artery Bypass*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • New Zealand
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Secondary Prevention*
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • Aspirin