Preoperative beta-blocker use and mortality and morbidity following CABG surgery in North America.


Journal Article

CONTEXT: beta-Blockade therapy has recently been shown to convey a survival benefit in preoperative noncardiac vascular surgical settings. The effect of preoperative beta-blocker therapy on coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) outcomes has not been assessed. OBJECTIVES: To examine patterns of use of preoperative beta-blockers in patients undergoing isolated CABG and to determine whether use of beta-blockers is associated with lower operative mortality and morbidity. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PATIENTS: Observational study using the Society of Thoracic Surgeons National Adult Cardiac Surgery Database (NCD) to assess beta-blocker use and outcomes among 629 877 patients undergoing isolated CABG between 1996 and 1999 at 497 US and Canadian sites. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Influence of beta-blockers on operative mortality, examined using both direct risk adjustment and a matched-pairs analysis based on propensity for preoperative beta-blocker therapy. RESULTS: From 1996 to 1999, overall use of preoperative beta-blockers increased from 50% to 60% in the NCD (P<.001 for time trend). Major predictors of use included recent myocardial infarction; hypertension; worse angina; younger age; better left ventricular systolic function; and absence of congestive heart failure, chronic lung disease, and diabetes. Patients who received beta-blockers had lower mortality than those who did not (unadjusted 30-day mortality, 2.8% vs 3.4%; odds ratio [OR], 0.80; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.78-0.82). Preoperative beta-blocker use remained associated with slightly lower mortality after adjusting for patient risk and center effects using both risk adjustment (OR, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.91-0.97) and treatment propensity matching (OR, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.93-1.00). Procedural complications also tended to be lower among treated patients. This treatment advantage was seen among the majority of patient subgroups, including women; elderly persons; and those with chronic lung disease, diabetes, or moderately depressed ventricular function. Among patients with a left ventricular ejection fraction of less than 30%, however, preoperative beta-blocker therapy was associated with a trend toward a higher mortality rate (OR, 1.13; 95% CI, 0.96-1.33; P =.23). CONCLUSIONS: In this large North American observational analysis, preoperative beta-blocker therapy was associated with a small but consistent survival benefit for patients undergoing CABG, except among patients with a left ventricular ejection fraction of less than 30%. This analysis further suggests that preoperative beta-blocker therapy may be a useful process measure for CABG quality improvement assessment.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Ferguson, TB; Coombs, LP; Peterson, ED; Society of Thoracic Surgeons National Adult Cardiac Surgery Database,

Published Date

  • May 1, 2002

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 287 / 17

Start / End Page

  • 2221 - 2227

PubMed ID

  • 11980522

Pubmed Central ID

  • 11980522

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0098-7484

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1001/jama.287.17.2221


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States