Norris CM, Saunders LD, Ghali WA, Brant R, Galbraith PD, Graham M, Faris P, Dzavik V, Knudtson ML; Health-related quality of life outcomes of patients with coronary artery disease treated with cardiac surgery, percutaneous coronary intervention or medical management. Can J Cardiol. 2004 Oct 12;20(12):1259-66.

Background: Given the repeated findings of little or no difference in mortality outcomes between percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) with or without stent and coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG), there is a need to assess the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) outcomes associated with revascularization decisions.

Objective: To compare risk-adjusted HRQOL outcomes by treatment strategy one year following cardiac catheterization.

Method: Using an inception cohort study design, the sample included all Alberta residents, 18 years of age or older, referred for cardiac catheterization, from January 1, 1996, to December 31, 1998, with two or more diseased coronary vessels at catheterization. Patients received a follow-up questionnaire including the Seattle Angina Questionnaire (SAQ), one year following their index catheterization. The SAQ comprises five dimensional scales measuring exertional capacity, anginal stability, anginal frequency, treatment satisfaction and quality of life.

Results: Three thousand three hundred ninety-two (78.1%) patients responded to the follow-up survey. Responders who were revascularized consistently reported significantly better HRQOL compared with responders treated with medical management. Responders undergoing CABG reported significantly better HRQOL in all but one SAQ dimension compared with responders who had either a PCI with or without stent. Responders who had a PCI with stent reported better HRQOL compared with responders who underwent a PCI without a stent.

Conclusion: The treatment decision to revascularize the coronary vessels, whether with PCI with or without a stent or with CABG, was consistently associated with significantly better HRQOL at one-year follow-up compared with patients treated with medical therapy.

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