JOURNAL ARTICLE

Elevated preoperative hemoglobin A1c level is associated with reduced long-term survival after coronary artery bypass surgery

Michael E Halkos, Omar M Lattouf, John D Puskas, Patrick Kilgo, William A Cooper, Cullen D Morris, Robert A Guyton, Vinod H Thourani
Annals of Thoracic Surgery 2008, 86 (5): 1431-7
19049726

BACKGROUND: The predictive role of hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) on long-term outcomes after coronary artery bypass surgery has not been evaluated.

METHODS: Preoperative HbA1c levels were obtained in 3,201 patients undergoing primary, elective coronary artery bypass surgery at Emory Healthcare Hospitals from January 2002 to December 2006 and entered prospectively into a computerized database. Long-term survival status was determined by cross-referencing patient records with the Social Security Death Index. Log-rank (unadjusted) and Cox proportional hazards regression models (adjusted) were employed to determine whether HbA1c and diabetes mellitus were independent risk factors for reduced long-term survival, adjusted for 29 covariates. Hazard ratios for each unit increase in continuous HbA1c were calculated.

RESULTS: Patients with HbA1c of 7% or greater had lower unadjusted 5-year survival compared with patients with HbA1c less than 7% (p = 0.001). Similarly, patients with diabetes mellitus had lower unadjusted 5-year survival compared with patients without diabetes (p < 0.001). After multivariable adjustment, higher HbA1c (measured as a continuous variable) was associated with reduced long-term survival for each unit increase in HbA1c (hazard ratio 1.15, p < 0.001), but preoperative diagnosis of diabetes was not associated with reduced long-term survival after coronary artery bypass surgery (p = 0.41). Other multivariable predictors of reduced long-term survival included age, cerebrovascular disease, elevated serum creatinine, renal insufficiency, congestive heart failure, previous myocardial infarction, chronic lung disease, and peripheral vascular disease.

CONCLUSIONS: Poor preoperative glycemic control, as measured by an elevated HbA1c, is associated with reduced long-term survival after coronary artery bypass surgery. Optimizing glucose control in these patients may improve long-term survival.

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