Rate of Coronary Artery Bypass Surgeries Decreases Considerably

May 4, 2011

(Ivanhoe Newswire) — Between 2001 and 2008, the annual rate of coronary artery bypass graft surgeries performed in the United States decreased by more than 30 percent, but rates of percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI; procedures such as balloon angioplasty or stent placement used to open narrowed coronary arteries) did not change significantly.

Coronary revascularization, comprising coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery and PCI, is among the most common major medical procedures provided by the U.S. health care system, with more than one million procedures performed annually. Several innovations in coronary revascularization, such as drug-eluting stents (DES) and minimally invasive CABG surgery have been adopted widely in the past decade, with the promise of improved clinical outcomes compared with older revascularization technologies and techniques.

Andrew J. Epstein, Ph.D., of the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center and University of Pennsylvania and colleagues conducted a study using a representative national sample of hospitalization claims to estimate trends in the annual volume of coronary revascularization procedures. The study included data on patients undergoing CABG surgery or PCIs between 2001 and 2008.

The researchers found that there was a 15 percent decrease in the annual rate of coronary revascularizations from 2001-2002 to 2007-2008. There was a substantial decrease in the rate of CABG surgery, with approximately one-third fewer CABG surgeries being performed in 2008 compared with 2001. The annual CABG surgery rate decreased steadily from 1,742 CABG surgeries per million adults per year in 2001-2002 to 1,081 CABG surgeries per million adults per year in 2007-2008, but PCI rates did not significantly change (3,827 PCI per million adults per year in 2001-2002 vs. 3,667 PCI per million adults per year in 2007-2008).
“Between 2001 and 2008, the number of hospitals in the Nationwide Inpatient Sample providing CABG surgery increased by 12 percent, and the number of PCI hospitals increased by 26 percent. The median (midpoint) CABG surgery caseload per hospital decreased by 28 percent and the number of CABG surgery hospitals providing fewer than 100 CABG surgeries per year increased from 23 (11 percent) in 2001 to 62 (26 percent) in 2008,” the authors were quoted as saying.

“Although the total rate of U.S. coronary revascularization decreased modestly between 2001 and 2008, there was a substantial decrease in the CABG surgery rate. Between 2001 and 2008, the rate of PCI did not significantly change; however, there were continual changes in the frequency of stent types used for PCI,” the authors were quoted as saying.

SOURCE: JAMA, published online May 4, 2011

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