The impact of ethnicity on outcomes following coronary artery bypass graft surgery in the veterans health administration

John S. Rumsfeld, Mary E. Plomondon, Eric D. Peterson, Michael G. Shlipak, Charles Maynard, Gary K. Grunwald, Frederick L. Grover, A. Laurie W. Shroyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: We evaluated the effect of African American (AA) and Hispanic American (HA) ethnicity on mortality and complications following coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). BACKGROUND: Few studies have examined the impact of ethnicity on outcomes following cardiovascular procedures. METHODS: This study included all 29,333 Caucasian, 2,570 AA, and 1,525 HA patients who underwent CABG surgery at any one of the 43 VHA cardiac surgery centers from January 1995 through March 2001. We evaluated the relationship between ethnicity (AA vs. Caucasian and HA vs. Caucasian) and 30-day mortality, 6-month mortality, and 30-day complications, adjusting for a wide array of demographic, cardiac, and noncardiac variables. RESULTS: After adjustment for baseline characteristics, AA and Caucasian patients had similar 30-day (AA/Caucasian odds ratio [OR] 1.07; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.84 to 1.35; p = 0.59) and 6-month mortality risk (AA/Caucasian OR 1.10; 95% CI 0.91 to 1.34; p = 0.31). However, among patients with low surgical risk, AA ethnicity was associated with higher mortality (OR 1.52, CI 1.10 to 2.11, p = 0.01), and AA patients were more likely to experience complications following surgery (OR 1.28; 95% CI 1.14 to 1.45; p < 0.01). In contrast, HA patients had lower 30-day (HA/Caucasian OR 0.70; 95% CI 0.49 to 0.98; p = 0.04) and 6-month mortality risk (HA/Caucasian OR 0.66; 95% CI 0.50 to 0.88; p < 0.01) than Caucasian patients. CONCLUSIONS: Ethnicity does not appear to be a strong risk factor for adverse outcomes following CABG surgery in the VHA. Future studies are needed to determine why AA patients have more complications, but ethnicity should not affect the decision to offer the operation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1786-1793
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 20 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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