Fewer Heart Surgeries in New York, Continued Excellent Results

Latest Cardiac Surgery Data Show Continued High Success Rates

ALBANY, N.Y. (April 22, 2010) - Two reports issued today by the state Department of Health show that cardiac care in New York hospitals continues to be of the highest quality and lowest risk of death or complications as compared to other states.

"We are fortunate in New York to have excellent teams of cardiac surgeons, interventional cardiologists, anesthesiologists, nurses, perfusionists and hospital care," State Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D., said. "If a person needs heart surgery, New York is the best place to have it done."

The number of coronary bypass surgeries dropped by 4 percent in 2007 over the previous year, and angioplasty procedures dropped by more than 10 percent, new data show. "This may reflect our efforts in the treatment of high blood pressure and high cholesterol as well as smoking cessation and increasing physical activity," Commissioner Daines said. "While these procedures have high success rates, nothing succeeds like preventing heart disease and damage."

The reports examine outcomes in adult cardiac surgery and angioplasty procedures conducted at hospitals in the state from 2005-2007. New York was the first state in the nation to make publicly available the information contained in these reports and has been releasing cardiac surgery reports for more than 15 years.

"These results will be used by hospitals around the state to improve outcomes and improve patient safety," Dr. Daines said. "We commend the many providers that have reviewed and analyzed these data into hospital-based quality improvement programs."

The Adult Cardiac Surgery Report includes information on coronary artery bypass graft surgery, valve surgery, and combined bypass/valve surgery at the 40 non-federal hospitals in New York State where these procedures are performed. The Percutaneous Coronary Interventions Report provides data on procedures used to clear blocked coronary arteries, commonly referred to as "angioplasty" or "coronary stenting." The report presents the outcomes of 165,953 patients undergoing PCI at the 53 non-federal hospitals in New York that perform this procedure.

Among the major findings of the reports:

Adult Cardiac Surgery

  • In 2007, 11,445 cardiac bypass surgeries were performed with a combined in-hospital and 30-day mortality rate of 1.95 percent.
  • During 2005-2007, 21,039 patients underwent valve or a combination of valve and bypass surgery. The statewide in-hospital and 30-day mortality rate for this group was 5.45 percent.

Percutaneous Coronary Interventions

  • In 2007, the number of angioplasties decreased to 51,695 from 57,944 in 2006, a decline of more than 10 percent in one year. The 2007 combined in-hospital/30-day mortality rate was 0.87 percent.
  • In 2007, the number of non-emergency angioplasties (procedures performed on patients who are not in shock, do not have very low blood pressure, and who have not had a heart attack within 24 hours before the procedure) decreased to 45,189, from 51,606 in 2006. The 2007 combined in-hospital and 30-day mortality rate for non-emergency patients was 0.62 percent.

Mortalities include any death occurring during the same hospital stay in which a patient underwent cardiac surgery or angioplasty, as well as any death that occurs after hospital discharge but within 30 days of the procedure. Results are reported for hospitals and individual physicians performing the procedures.

The primary data sources for the reports are the New York State Cardiac Surgery Reporting System and the New York State Percutaneous Coronary Interventions Reporting System. These clinical registries gather information on each patient's demographic and clinical characteristics, the procedure performed and the outcome. As part of the reporting system, hospitals can to track their own data and compare their experience to statewide outcomes.

Data collection and analysis are conducted under the guidance of the New York State Cardiac Advisory Committee, comprised of nationally prominent cardiologists, cardiac surgeons and other medical specialists.

Reflecting on the low mortality rate associated with non-emergency angioplasties in New York State, Spencer B. King III, M.D., Executive Director of Academic Affairs at St. Joseph's Health System in Atlanta and Chair of the New York State Cardiac Advisory Committee noted, "This sets an impressive benchmark for all hospitals in the country."

The reports are available at: http://www.nyhealth.gov/statistics/diseases/cardiovascular/.