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News Release


UAlbany Researcher Finds Coronary Bypass Patients Return to Hospital Within 30 Days of Discharge
Study Published in JAMA, August 13

Media Advisory: To receive a copy of the paper or to contact Edward L. Hannan, Ph.D., call Lisa James Goldsberry at (518) 437-4980.

ALBANY, N.Y. (August 13, 2003)- - About 13 percent of patients discharged from a hospital following coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery are readmitted within 30 days for reasons related to the surgery, according to a study in the August 13 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). Edward Hannan of the University at Albany's School of Public Health was lead author of the study.

According to background information in the article, CABG surgery may be the most frequently studied of all surgical procedures, probably in part because of its expense, the frequency with which it is performed, and that it relates to the most common cause of death in the United States, coronary heart disease. Risk factors for death after CABG surgery have been studied extensively, however which factors are associated with early readmissions are less clear.

Hannan, Ph.D., and colleagues examined the frequency and causes of hospital readmissions within 30 days following CABG surgery in the state of New York from January 1, 1999, through December 31, 1999.

The researchers found that of 16,325 total patients, 2,111 (12.9 percent) were readmitted within 30 days for reasons related to CABG surgery. The most common causes of readmission were postsurgical infection (n=598 [28 percent]) and heart failure (n=331 [16 percent]). Eleven risk factors were independently associated with higher readmission rates: older age, female sex, African American race, greater body surface area, previous myocardial infarction within 1 week, femoral/popliteal (artery) disease, congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, hepatic failure, and renal failure.

After controlling for these preoperative patient-level risk factors, two physician characteristics (annual CABG volume less than 100 or hospital risk-adjusted death rate in the highest decile) and 2 postoperative factors (discharge to nursing home or rehabilitation/acute care facility or length of stay during index CABG admission of 5 days or greater) were also related to higher readmission rates.

"Readmission to hospital shortly after CABG is a common problem. Although we identified a number of important predictors for readmission, much variability in readmission rates remains unexplained. Future research will be needed to better understand why many patients require readmission after undergoing CABG surgery," the authors conclude.

For More Information: Contact the JAMA/Archives Media Relations Department at 312/464-JAMA (5262) or email:

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