Survival Higher for Bypass Surgery

Bypass surgery patients living longer than angioplasty patients

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Robert Carlson, M.D

(RxWiki News) Patients with blocked coronary arteries who receive bypass surgery are more likely to survive five years as compared to balloon angioplasty, though many clinical characteristics play a role in effectiveness.

Gender and other medical conditions were found to impact survival years after the artery clearing procedures were performed.

"Talk to a cardiologist and the pros and cons of each procedure."

Mark Hlatky, MD, professor of health research and policy and of cardiovascular medicine at the Stanford University School of Medicine, found that while a higher percentage of patients are alive five years after a coronary artery bypass graft, the effectiveness of the two procedures in reducing mortality is highly dependent on clinical factors.

During the study investigators reviewed clinical variables in 105,612 Medicare patients over the age of 66 who received either multi-vessel bypass surgery or multi-vessel angioplasty between 1992 and 2008.

The average patient age was 75, 58 percent were men and most were white. About a third of the patients were diabetic. Researchers then looked at the five year survival rates of patients.

After five years they found that 75 percent of bypass patients and 72 percent of angioplasty patients were still alive. They also found that men were significantly more likely to be alive if they had received bypass surgery as compared to angioplasty.

Among patients with diabetes, heart failure or peripheral vascular disease or those who smoke, bypass surgery also led to stronger survival rates. Age did not appear to play a role in survival, though all patients were older.

The research was presented Friday at the American Heart Association’s Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Scientific Sessions 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Review Date: 
May 9, 2012
Last Updated:
May 11, 2012