Quality of life (QoL) is a multifactorial concept that assesses physical and mental health. We prospectively studied the quality of life of patients undergoing coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery using the Short-Form 36-item questionnaire (SF-36) up to 10 years after surgery. Between January 2000 and December 2002, all patients undergoing elective isolated CABG in the cardiac & thoracic surgery department of a large university hospital in Eastern France underwent initial QoL evaluation with the SF-36. The same questionnaire was mailed to every patient annually (± 2 weeks around the date of surgery) up to 10 years after their operation. We recorded socio-demographic and clinical variables at inclusion. Predictors of impaired QoL at 10 years were identified by logistic regression. A total of 272 patients (213 men, 59 women) were enrolled; mean age at inclusion was 65 ± 10 years. At 10 years post-surgery, 81 patients had died (29.7%). The physical component summary (PCS) score was significantly higher at 5 years after surgery than at baseline (p < 0.01), and significantly lower at 10 years than at 5 years (p < 0.01), although there remained a significant difference between 10-year PCS and baseline score (p = 0.004). The mental component summary (MCS) score was significantly higher at 5 years than at the time of surgery (p < 0.001), and remained significantly higher compared to baseline at 10 years after surgery (p = 0.010). By multivariate analysis, diabetes and dypsnea were both associated with worse PCS at 10 years, while lower age was associated with better 10-year PCS. Only diabetes was associated with impaired MCS at 10 years. Cardiac surgery appears to durably and positively affect both physical and mental components of quality of life.
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