Postoperative atrial fibrillation impacts on costs and one-year clinical outcomes: the Veterans Affairs Randomized On/Off Bypass Trial.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


New-onset postoperative atrial fibrillation (POAF) after coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) is associated with worse in-hospital morbidity and mortality, extended hospital stays, and higher costs. Beyond the initial hospital discharge, the cost and outcomes of POAF have not been well studied.


For CABG patients with and without new-onset POAF, a retrospective propensity-matched, multivariable regression analysis was performed to compare 1-year outcomes (including health-related quality of life [HRQoL] scores and mortality rates) and costs (standardized to 2010 dollars). Regression models controlled for site and patient factors, with propensity matching used to adjust for differences in POAF versus no-POAF patients' risk profiles.


Using the existing CABG trial database, 2,096 patient records were analyzed, including POAF patients (n = 549) versus no-POAF patients (n = 1,547). For the index CABG hospitalization, POAF patients had longer postoperative length of stay (+3.9 days) and higher discharge costs (+$13,993) than no-POAF patients. At 1 year, POAF patients had more than twice the adjusted odds of dying (p < 0.01), with higher 1-year total cumulative costs. This 1-year cost difference (+$15,593) was largely attributable to hospital-based costs during the index surgery hospitalization. There was no difference in 1-year HRQoL scores (or HRQoL score changes) between POAF patients and no-POAF patients.


Compared with no-POAF patients, POAF patients had higher discharge and 1-year costs along with higher 1-year mortality rates, but no differences were observed in 1-year HRQoL scores. Additional research appears warranted to improve the longer-term survival rates for POAF CABG patients, targeting future POAF-specific postdischarge interventions.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Almassi, GH; Wagner, TH; Carr, B; Hattler, B; Collins, JF; Quin, JA; Ebrahimi, R; Grover, FL; Bishawi, M; Shroyer, ALW; VA #517 Randomized On/Off Bypass (ROOBY) Study Group,

Published Date

  • January 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 99 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 109 - 114

PubMed ID

  • 25442992

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1552-6259

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0003-4975

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2014.07.035


  • eng