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Clin Cardiol. 2012;35(7):430-6. doi: 10.1002/clc.21008. Epub 2012 Jan 25.

Statins reduce short- and long-term mortality associated with postoperative atrial fibrillation after coronary artery bypass grafting: impact of postoperative atrial fibrillation and statin therapy on survival.

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Department of Surgery, Laval University, Quebec, Canada.



Postoperative atrial fibrillation (POAF) is a frequent complication of coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery. The objective of this study was to determine the impact of POAF on both short- and long-term mortality following isolated CABG.


POAF is associated with a poorer short and long-term mortality following CABG.


We retrospectively analyzed the preoperative and operative data of 6728 consecutive patients undergoing a first isolated CABG.


The incidence of POAF was 27.8%. Operative mortality was higher in patients with POAF compared to those without POAF (2.3% vs 0.9%, P < 0.001). On multivariate analysis, POAF remained an independent predictor of operative mortality (odds ratio [OR]: 1.78, P = 0.01). Patients with POAF also had reduced long-term survival (6-year survival: 85.3% vs 89.2%, P < 0.001). After adjusting for other predictors of mortality, POAF was significantly associated with increased long-term mortality (hazard ratio [HR]: 1.35, P = 0.04). Of note, after adjustment for potential confounders, statin treatment had a highly protective effect in POAF patients for both operative mortality (OR: 0.38, P = 0.003) and long-term mortality (HR: 0.62, P = 0.03), whereas it had no significant effect in patients without POAF.


POAF is an independent predictor of both short- and long-term mortality following CABG. Moreover, statin therapy was independently associated with better survival in patients with POAF.

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