Heart bypass surgery death rates drop sharply

Research Activities, September 2010, No. 361

The proportion of patients who died in the hospital after having heart bypass surgery fell 43 percent from 42 deaths per 1,000 admissions for the procedure to 24 per 1,000 between 2000 and 2006, according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Rural hospitals experienced the greatest improvement (92 percent), although their rate of 38 deaths per 1,000 admissions was still higher than other hospitals. Suburban hospitals near large metropolitan areas had the lowest rate (21 per 1,000 admissions).

AHRQ also found that:

  • In 2006, the heart bypass surgery death rate for women remained higher (35 per 1,000 admissions) than for men (20 per 1,000 admissions).
  • Hospitals in counties with small cities (fewer than 50,000 residents) were the only ones that reported an increase in heart bypass surgery death rates between 2000 and 2006 (28 versus 31 per 1,000 admissions).
  • In 2006, uninsured patients had the lowest heart bypass surgery death rate (23 deaths per 1,000 admissions), followed by privately insured, Medicare, and Medicaid patients (24, 24.5, and 28 deaths per 1,000 admissions, respectively).

This AHRQ News and Numbers is based on information in "Deaths per 1,000 hospital admissions with coronary artery bypass graft  surgery age 40 and over, United States, 2000 and 2006," Table 4-4-2.1 appendix to the 2009 National Healthcare Disparities Report, which examines the disparities in Americans' access to and quality of health care, with breakdowns by race, ethnicity, income, and education.

Current as of September 2010
Internet Citation: Heart bypass surgery death rates drop sharply: Research Activities, September 2010, No. 361. September 2010. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://archive.ahrq.gov/news/research-activities/sep10/0910RA32.html