State Health Department Issues Report on Adult Cardiac Surgery Outcomes

2005 In-Hospital Cardiac Bypass Mortality Rate Lowest Ever

ALBANY, N.Y. (April 14, 2008) – A report on cardiac surgery issued today by the New York State Department of Health indicates the lowest mortality rate ever for heart bypass surgery.

The report includes information on coronary artery bypass graft surgery, valve surgery, and the two procedures done in combination during 2003-2005 at the 39 hospitals in New York State where these procedures are performed.

"This report highlights the high quality of care available to cardiac surgery patients in New York State," said State Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D. "The hospitals performing these surgeries are commended for their ongoing collaboration with the Department of Health and the Cardiac Advisory Committee to improve outcomes. As a result, cardiac patients and their families continue to reap the benefits."

Report highlights include:

  • The 2005 in-hospital mortality rate for cardiac bypass surgery – at 1.56 percent – is the lowest since reporting began in 1989 and slightly down from 1.61 percent in 2004.
  • The 2005 combined in-hospital/30-day mortality rate of 2.07 percent for cardiac bypass surgery decreased slightly from the 2004 rate of 2.09 percent.
  • The 2003-2005 in-hospital mortality rate for valve and combined valve and bypass surgeries was 5.59 percent, down from 6.04 percent for 2002-2004. The combined in-hospital/30-day mortality rate was 6.26 percent for these procedures in 2003-2005 (comparison data for 2002-2004 not available).
  • In 2005, there were 12,146 cardiac bypass surgeries performed in New York State compared to a high of 20,220 performed in 1997. Cardiac bypass surgeries have decreased because many patients who would have received this surgery a few years ago are now undergoing percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI), a procedure used to clear blocked coronary arteries and referred to as "angioplasty" or "coronary stenting."
  • For 2003-2005, there were 20,627 valve and combined valve/bypass surgeries performed, slightly above the 20,309 performed for 2002-2004.

"The surgical data and analysis have been a valuable stimulus to quality improvement within the state, as well as providing an important benchmark for other surgical programs," said Spencer King, M.D., Executive Director of Academic Affairs at St. Joseph's Health Systems in Atlanta and Chair of the Cardiac Advisory Committee. "The surgeons in New York and the State Health Department are to be congratulated for leading the country in outcomes assessment."

"New York State has taken a leadership role in setting standards for cardiac services, monitoring outcomes, and sharing performance data with patients, hospitals, and physicians," said Dr. Edward Hannan, Ph.D., noting that New York currently is the only state to report outcomes for valve replacements and repairs. "Mortality for cardiac bypass surgery and valve procedures continues to decrease, and we believe that New York's annual reports are an important part of the reason."

For the first time, all analyses -- including cardiac bypass surgery, valve surgery, combined bypass/valve surgery, and physician-specific data -- use the outcome of combined in-hospital/30-day mortality. These mortalities include any death occurring in the same hospital stay in which a patient underwent cardiac surgery and any death that occurs after hospital discharge but within 30 days of the surgery.

The primary source of data in this report is the New York State Cardiac Surgery Reporting System, which gathers information on each patient's demographic and clinical characteristics, the procedure performed, and the 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.

The report can be obtained on the Department's website at: .