Women may have poorer quality of life than men after bypass surgery

March 17, 2002

While researchers are still unsure whether coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) is associated with more unfavorable outcomes in women than in men, a new study by a team of Emory and Yale researchers suggests that women who have CABG may have a poorer quality of life after the procedure than men.

Viola Vaccarino, M.D., Ph.D., of the Emory Department of Medicine's Division of Cardiology will present the results of the study to physicians attending a poster session at the American College of Cardiology (ACC) 51st Annual Scientific Session, on Sunday, March 17th, 12:00 noon - 2:00 p.m., in the Georgia World Congress Center (Hall G).

The Emory scientists compared cardiac symptoms, quality of life (QOL), depressive symptoms and rehospitalization rates between 294 women and 787 men over age 30 who underwent CABG for the first time at Yale-New Haven Hospital over a period of about a year and a half. The study participants were followed for six months after their hospital discharge.

" We found the mortality rate after six month was almost the same in men and women, about two percent," says Dr. Vaccarino. "However, although symptoms and QOL improved from baseline in both sexes, we found that women had less improvement in several areas - including depression, shortness of breath, and health-related physical limitations. They also had a more negative evaluation of their surgery and recovery process. We have concluded that CABG may be less effective in improving QOL in women with coronary heart disease compared with men, when patients are evaluated at 6 months after the surgery."
Media Contacts: Sherry Baker, 404/377-1398, emoryheartnews@aol.com
Kathi Ovnic, 404/727-9371, covnic@emory.edu
Janet Christenbury, 404/727-8599, jmchris@emory.edu

Emory University Health Sciences Center

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