Health-related quality of life after coronary artery bypass grafting surgery and the role of gender

Cardiovasc Revasc Med. Nov-Dec 2012;13(6):321-7. doi: 10.1016/j.carrev.2012.09.002. Epub 2012 Oct 18.


Objective: Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women. Previous studies suggest that women undergoing coronary artery bypass (CABG) surgery present with a higher severity of disease and that this may be an indicator of delays in treatment preceding diagnosis thus presenting challenges for recovery. The aim of this study was to examine gender differences in CABG morbidity and reported health-related quality of life (HRQL) at baseline and six months post-surgery. It was hypothesized that female gender would be an independent predictor for lower HRQL at six months following CABG surgery.

Methods: Four hundred and ninety-six (n=496) adult patients who underwent a first-time, isolated CABG procedure with baseline and 6-month follow-up were included. Stepwise multivariate regressions were conducted to evaluate the factors predictive of 6-month HRQL scores.

Results: Females had more preoperative co-morbidities and scored significantly lower on HRQL compared to males at both baseline (p values<0.01) and six months (p values<0.01) on all ten domains. Gender was a significant predictor of 6-month HRQL in regression models for 8 out of 10 HRQL domains including Physical Component Summary score (B=-2.54, p=0.02).

Conclusions: Female patients were at higher risk as reflected by their perioperative risk factors and baseline HRQL. These findings may reflect a delayed referral for surgery. Results indicated that female gender predicts lower HRQL 6-months post-CABG surgery, which can have an impact on recovery and outcomes. Efforts should be made to identify and treat female patients earlier to improve post-surgical outcomes.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Coronary Artery Bypass* / adverse effects
  • Coronary Disease / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Period
  • Quality of Life*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome