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Clin Cardiol. 2001 May;24(5):385-92.

Relief of symptoms and improvement of health-related quality of life five years after coronary artery bypass graft in women and men.

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Division of Cardiology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Göteborg, Sweden.



Severe coronary artery disease can be successfully treated with coronary artery bypass graft (CABG), with considerable improvement in the symptoms of angina pectoris. Approximately three of four patients are free of ischemic events for 5 years; however, increased survival is demonstrated only in selected subgroups with advanced coronary artery disease, and this effect has not been established in elderly patients.


The study was undertaken to determine the relief of symptoms and improvement in other aspects of health-related quality of life (QoL) during 5 years after CABG in women and men.


Patients who underwent CABG in western Sweden were approached prior to and 5 years after surgery. Health-related QoL was estimated with Physical Activity Score (PAS), Nottingham Health Profile, and Psychological General Well-Being Index.


Women (n = 381) had a 5-year mortality of 17% compared with 13% for men (n = 1,619; NS). After 5 years, 1,719 patients (survivors) were available for the survey; of these, 876 (51%) answered the inquiry both prior to and after 5 years. Both women and men improved markedly and highly significantly, both with respect to symptoms and other aspects of health-related QoL. Women suffered more than men in terms of limitation of physical activity, dyspnea, chest pain, and others aspects of health-related QoL. There was a significant interaction between time and gender, with more improvement in men with regard to chest pain when walking uphill or quickly on level ground, when walking on level ground at the speed of other persons their own age, when under stress, and in windy and cold weather. For those parameters as well as for PAS, improvement was more marked in men than in women. In the other aspects of health-related QoL, there was no interaction between time and gender.


Five years after CABG, limitation of physical activity, symptoms of dyspnea, and chest pain were reduced, and various aspects of health-related QoL had improved in both women and men. In general, women suffered more than men both prior to and after CABG; however, in some aspects the improvement was more pronounced in men. Because of the limited response rate, the results may not be applicable to a nonselected population who had undergone CABG.

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