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J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 1995 Nov;110(5):1344-56; discussion 1356-8.

Is body size the cause for poor outcomes of coronary artery bypass operations in women?

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Division of Cardiovascular Surgery, Sunnybrook Health Science Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Although small body size and coronary artery diameter are recognized as major contributors to the increased risk of coronary artery bypass grafting in women, few studies have established the independent influence of body size and gender on outcome. We studied 7025 consecutive patients (5694 men, 1331 women) undergoing isolated coronary artery bypass grafting between 1990 and 1994. Women were older, had higher preoperative prevalences of urgent operation because of unstable angina, diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, hypertension, and single-vessel coronary artery disease (p < 0.0001), and a lower prevalence of left ventricular ejection fraction 40% or less (p < 0.0001). The prevalences of operative mortality (men, 1.8%; women, 3.5%), low-output syndrome (men, 6.6%; women, 14.8%), and myocardial infarction (men, 2.8%; women, 5.5%) were higher in women (p < 0.0001). Patients were divided into quartiles for body surface area, weight, height, and body mass index. For both men and women, there was no difference in operative mortality between the highest and lowest quartiles of body size. Women, however, had a higher prevalence of operative mortality than men in the lower quartiles of body surface area, height, and weight and in the higher quartiles of body mass index. Among men, the prevalence of low-output syndrome increased (p < 0.0001) with decreasing body surface area, weight, and body mass index, suggesting that body size did influence the prevalence of low-output syndrome. However, women had a higher prevalence of low-output syndrome than men in every category and quartile of body size (p < 0.0001). Multivariable analysis identified gender as a significant determinant of operative mortality (odds ratio 1.83, 95% confidence interval 1.27 to 2.64) and low-output syndrome (odds ratio 2.52, 95% confidence interval 2.05 to 3.11). When multivariable adjustments were made for body size and preoperative risk factors, gender remained a predictor of both operative mortality and low-output syndrome. Multivariable assessment of risk for men and women separately identified that urgent operation was a predictor of operative mortality (odds ratio 2.52, 95% confidence interval 1.32 to 5.61) and low-output syndrome (odds ratio 1.57, 95% confidence interval 1.14 to 2.17) in women but not men. In conclusion, the increased risk of coronary artery bypass grafting in women may be explained in part by dramatic differences in preoperative risk factors between men and women. In both men and women, small body size did not increase the risk of operative mortality, but may have contributed to the risk of low-output syndrome.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS).

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