Patients with heart failure undergoing major non-cardiac surgical procedures are almost twice as likely to die as other patients, according to researchers at the Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI).
In their analysis of Medicare data, the researchers also found, to their surprise, that the outcomes after major non-cardiac surgery were similar in patients with coronary artery disease and those with no heart disease.
The findings about heart failure patients are significant, the researchers continued, because very little is known about how these patients fare when they undergo surgery. With the aging of the American population and the increase in the number of surgeries being performed, the researchers said it is crucial to understand why such a disparity in outcomes exist. "While the risks of coronary artery disease on patients undergoing surgery have always been considered in assessing risk, there is very little data on which to base guidelines for treating patients with heart failure," said Duke cardiologist Adrian Hernandez, M.D., lead author of a study whose results will be published Oct. 6, 2004, in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Richard Merritt | EurekAlert!
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