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Gen Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2010 Feb;58(2):62-7. doi: 10.1007/s11748-009-0529-7. Epub 2010 Feb 13.

Effect of opium use on short-term outcome in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery.

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Cardiovascular Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Daneshgah Street, Tabriz, 5166615573, Iran.



Data regarding the effect of opium use on short-term outcome in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery are limited. We sought to assess the morbidity and in-hospital mortality of current and past users compared the data with those from nonusers of opium after coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG).


This is a descriptive analytical review of prospectively collected data on 782 consecutive male patients who underwent isolated CABG between January 2005 and December 2007. Of these, 708 (90.5%) were nonusers, 56 (7.1%) were current users, and 18 (2.3%) were former opium users of more than 4 weeks. The effect of opium usage on clinical, admission, and outcome variables were analyzed.


Current opium users were younger (P = 0.004) and more likely to be cigarette smokers (P = 0.0004). Other demographic characteristics, major coronary risk factors, rates of postoperative complications, intensive care unit readmission, postoperative length of stay, and in-hospital mortality did not differ among the three groups. Current opium users needed less analgesic postoperatively (P = 0.0001), were significantly less compliant with medical and dietary recommendations after discharge (P < 0.0001), and were more likely to be rehospitalized with cardiovascular causes within 6 months after CABG surgery; these differences were much more pronounced for nonusers versus current users of opium (P < 0.0001).


Continued use of opium is a significant predictor of rehospitalization with a cardiac cause within 6 months of CABG surgery. This may be partly due to the low compliance of these patients with treatment recommendations.

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