Overall, the report shows that mortality rates within 30 days of the operation dropped from 2.8% in 1998-1999, to 2.24 in 2008 to 1.9% in 2009, when 13,260 isolated procedures were performed.
That's a significant decline from the 27,000 CABG procedures in 1998, the first year this state CABG report was published. CABG procedures are going down because of compelling research findings that in many cases, prescription drug management provides better long-term outcomes than major invasive surgery.
Because of the steady decline in CABG procedures in the last decade, those patients who do undergo the operation tend to have more co-morbidities, and so the mortality rate would be expected to hold steady or even increase. But the fact that it declined anyway indicates surgeons and hospital teams may be getting even better, Parker says.
"These patients (who undergo CABG surgery these days) are sicker," said Joe Parker, manager of the Healthcare Outcomes Center for OSHPD, the nation's largest state hospital database, which prepares an annual CABG report.