The purpose of this study was to identify factors associated with 30-day mortality after coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) among diabetic patients, and to compare them with risk factors among nondiabetics. A subanalysis of a prospective national cohort study was performed which included patients who underwent CABG in 14 medical centers in Israel during 1994. Data including patient demographic and historical information, comorbidity, and cardiac catheterization results were collected by trained nurses. Data were derived from direct patient interviews, charts, catheterization reports, surgical reports, and national vital records. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to identify factors associated with a 30-day mortality in diabetic and nondiabetic patient populations. The results showed that crude mortality was 5.0% among diabetic patients (n = 1,034) and 2.5% among nondiabetics (n = 3,350; p < 0.001). The risk profile in diabetics was found to be worse. Multivariate logistic regression analysis identified female gender, 3-vessel disease, and left main disease as independent risk factors for 30-day, past-CABG mortality unique to diabetic patients. Left ventricular dysfunction was found to effect a greater risk among diabetic patients, whereas chronic renal failure was associated with greater risk among nondiabetics. In conclusion, we found differences in patterns of risk factors for post-CABG mortality between diabetics and nondiabetics. These findings may help physicians to identify patients at high risk for CABG mortality.