Coronary artery bypass grafting in a predominately black group of patients

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of the National Medical Association






The preoperative profiles of a predominately non-white group of patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting were reviewed. Data were obtained from a retrospective analysis of medical records of 163 patients operated on at Howard University Hospital between July 1983 and July 1986. The analysis was carried out primarily to determine whether patients requiring myocardial revascularization were somehow different from their non-black counterparts. Ninety-one percent of the patients were black, 5 percent white, 0.5 percent Hispanic, and 3.5 percent others (Iranian, Filipino, etc). The study was not designed to review the prevalence of coronary disease in blacks, or to determine the natural history following coronary artery bypass grafting, but to determine whether those with established coronary disease of such a severity as to warrant revascularization had the usual clustering of risk factors. Patient records were reviewed to determine the prevalence of hypertension, diabetes, obesity, cigarette smoking, previous myocardial injury, and total serum cholesterol. Because of the well-recognized increased incidence of hypertension in black patients, and its role as a major risk factor in coronary heart disease, the sequelae of hypertension were considered in relation to results of surgical therapy. The study population included 93 men (57 percent) and 70 women (43 percent); mean age was 59 years (fourth to ninth decade). Seventy-four percent of the patients were hypertensive, 35 percent were diabetic, and 77 percent had a smoking history. Obesity was prevalent among the female patients in general, with 36 percent of the diabetics and 21 percent of the nondiabetics being greater than 50 percent over ideal body weight. Ninety percent of the female patients and 80 percent of the male patients presented with New York Heart Association class III or IV angina. Left ventricular function was, on the average, well preserved. The immediate surgical mortality (following exclusion of patients in extremis) was 4 percent. The surgical mortalities were related to easily identifiable factors. Perioperative infarctions were profoundly influenced by the presence of diabetes. Although this group was distinguished from most reported groups of patients undergoing aortocoronary bypass grafting by the presence of advanced age, the large percentage of women and diabetics and the marked prevalence of hypertension, and the usual risk factors for coronary artery disease reported in the majority population, the study reconfirms previous epidemiologic findings. It appears that racial 'clumping' of a heterogeneous non-white population has minimal usefulness, except as it may be related to socioeconomic status and access to quality health care.

This document is currently not available here.