Does Sex Influence Outcomes Following Cardiac Surgery?

Pavankumar Kamat


September 24, 2021

Why this matters

  • Findings add to the existing published literature on sex differences after cardiac surgery by providing a comprehensive description and quantitative assessment of both short- and long-term mortality after cardiac surgery.

Study design

  • Researchers at the University of Bristol performed a meta-analysis of 30 studies, identified through a literature search across electronic databases.

  • Primary outcomes: short-term mortality, either in-hospital or 30-day mortality.

  • Funding: British Heart Foundation and others.

Key results

  • Women vs men undergoing CABG and combined valve surgery and CABG had an increased risk of (OR; 95% CI):

    • short-term mortality (1.40; 1.32-1.49; I2, 79%); and

    • post-operative stroke (1.20; 1.07-1.34; I2, 90%).

  • No significant differences was seen between women and men in (OR; 95% CI):

    • isolated AVR (1.19; 0.74-1.89);

    • long-term mortality (1.04; 0.93-1.16; I2, 82%);

    • post-operative MI (1.22; 0.89-1.67; I2, 60%); and

    • deep sternal wound infection (0.92; 0.65-1.30; I2, 87%).


  • Heterogeneity among studies.


Dixon LK, Di Tommaso E, Dimagli A, Sinha S, Sandhu M, Benedetto U, Angelini GD. Impact of sex on outcomes after cardiac surgery: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Int J Cardiol. 2021 Sep 11 [Epub ahead of print]. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2021.09.011. PMID: 34520795. View abstract 

This clinical summary originally appeared on Univadis, part of the Medscape Professional Network.


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