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Can J Cardiol. 2013 Dec;29(12):1629-36. doi: 10.1016/j.cjca.2013.06.003. Epub 2013 Aug 26.

Incidence, secular trends, and outcomes of cardiac surgery in Aboriginal peoples.

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Section of Nephrology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada; St Boniface Hospital, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Electronic address:



Canada's Aboriginal people experience a disproportionate burden of comorbid illnesses predisposing them to higher rates of atherosclerotic disease. We set out to investigate secular rates of cardiovascular surgery (CVSx) and postsurgical outcomes in Aboriginals compared with non-Aboriginals.


All patients undergoing CVSx in Manitoba, Canada from 1995-2007 (N =12,170 [Aboriginal, 574, 4.7%; non-Aboriginal, 11,596, 95.3%]) were included in our study cohort. Race was self-identified. Age- and sex-adjusted incidence were determined using 2001 and 2006 census data. Multivariable logistic regression models were constructed to determine the association between race and the outcomes of death, infections, and a composite of adverse events.


CVSx rates were significantly lower in Aboriginals compared with non-Aboriginals (all CVSx, 63.6 vs 97.7 per 10,000 population; coronary artery bypass grafting only, 46.2 vs 71.9 per 10,000 population, respectively). The lower CVSx rates were most pronounced among Aboriginals residing in urban areas (21.0 vs 78.0 per 10,000). Postoperatively, Aboriginals experienced significantly higher odds of infections (odds ratio [OR], 1.63; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.13-2.34; P = 0.008), in particular pneumonia (OR, 2.24; 95% CI, 1.58-3.19; P < 0.0001). There was no increase in risk of death after surgery (OR, 1.15; 95% CI, 0.63-2.08; P = 0.6) or the composite outcome (OR, 1.0; 95% CI, 0.66-1.52; P = 1.0) compared with non-Aboriginals.


Aboriginal peoples, particularly in the urban setting, are considerably less likely to undergo CVSx. When they do, they have postoperative mortality similar to that of non-Aboriginals. Our findings suggest an urban racial disparity in access to CVSx.

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