To describe (1) the improvement in various aspects of quality of life (QoL) and (2) predictors of improvement, during 10 years after coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG).
Patients and methods
All patients who underwent CABG in western Sweden between June 1988 and June 1991 without simultaneous valve surgery and with no previous CABG were approached with an inquiry prior to and 5 and 10 years after the operation. QoL was measured with three different instruments: (1) Nottingham health profile (NHP), (2) psychological general well-being index (PGWBI) and (3) physical activity score (PAS).
There was a significant improvement in QoL with all three instruments from before to 10 years after the operation. The mean improvements ±SD were for NHP, − 4.2±17.0 (P<0.0001), for PGWBI, +9.7±17.6 (P<0.0001) and for PAS, −0.96±1.23 (P<0.0001). However, there was also a deterioration with all three instruments between 5 and 10 years after surgery. The mean deteriorations ±SD were for NHP, +4.4±12.8 (P<0.0001), for PGWBI, −4.6±14.8 (P<0.0001) and for PAS, +0.44±0.94 (P<0.0001). Independent predictors for an improvement in QoL with at least one of the instruments were low preoperative QoL, a younger age, being a man, high functional class (New York Heart Association), no hypertension, proximal left anterior descending coronary artery stenosis, short extracorporeal circulation time, use of internal mammary artery and a short postoperative time in the intensive care unit.
There is a higher estimated QoL 10 years after CABG than before, despite the fact that the patients are 10 years older. However, there is also a deterioration in QoL between 5 and 10 years after surgery. Predictors of improvement during the 10 years included age, sex, previous history, localization of stenosis, type of graft and preoperative and postoperative factors.