Employment after coronary angioplasty or coronary bypass surgery in patients employed at the time of revascularization

Ann Intern Med. 1998 Oct 1;129(7):543-7. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-129-7-199810010-00006.


Background: Patients who undergo coronary angioplasty have a shorter convalescence than those who undergo coronary bypass surgery. This may improve subsequent employment.

Objective: To compare employment patterns after coronary angioplasty or surgery.

Design: Multicenter, randomized clinical trial.

Setting: Seven tertiary care hospitals.

Patients: 409 employed patients with multivessel coronary artery disease.

Intervention: Coronary bypass surgery or balloon angioplasty.

Measurements: Time to return to work and time spent working during 4 years of follow-up.

Results: Patients who underwent angioplasty returned to work 6 weeks sooner than patients who underwent coronary bypass surgery (P < 0.001), but long-term employment did not differ significantly (P > 0.2). Long-term employment was significantly lower among patients who were 60 to 64 years of age (P < 0.001), those who worked less than full-time at study entry (P < 0.001), and those who had less formal education (P = 0.005). Patients with only one source of health insurance were more likely to continue working (P = 0.005).

Conclusions: Faster recovery after angioplasty speeds return to work but does not improve long-term employment, which is primarily associated with nonmedical factors.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Angioplasty, Balloon*
  • Coronary Artery Bypass*
  • Educational Status
  • Employment*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Insurance, Health
  • Male
  • Middle Aged