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Postoperative atrial fibrillation impacts on costs and one-year clinical outcomes: the Veterans Affairs Randomized On/Off Bypass Trial.

Almassi GH, Wagner TH, Carr B, Hattler B, Collins JF, Quin JA, Ebrahimi R, Grover FL, Bishawi M, Shroyer AL, VA #517 Randomized On/Off Bypass (ROOBY) Study Group. Postoperative atrial fibrillation impacts on costs and one-year clinical outcomes: the Veterans Affairs Randomized On/Off Bypass Trial. The Annals of thoracic surgery. 2015 Jan 1; 99(1):109-14.

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BACKGROUND: New-onset postoperative atrial fibrillation (POAF) after coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) is associated with worse in-hospital morbidity and mortality, extended hospital stays, and higher costs. Beyond the initial hospital discharge, the cost and outcomes of POAF have not been well studied. METHODS: For CABG patients with and without new-onset POAF, a retrospective propensity-matched, multivariable regression analysis was performed to compare 1-year outcomes (including health-related quality of life [HRQoL] scores and mortality rates) and costs (standardized to 2010 dollars). Regression models controlled for site and patient factors, with propensity matching used to adjust for differences in POAF versus no-POAF patients' risk profiles. RESULTS: Using the existing CABG trial database, 2,096 patient records were analyzed, including POAF patients (n = 549) versus no-POAF patients (n = 1,547). For the index CABG hospitalization, POAF patients had longer postoperative length of stay (+3.9 days) and higher discharge costs (+$13,993) than no-POAF patients. At 1 year, POAF patients had more than twice the adjusted odds of dying (p < 0.01), with higher 1-year total cumulative costs. This 1-year cost difference (+$15,593) was largely attributable to hospital-based costs during the index surgery hospitalization. There was no difference in 1-year HRQoL scores (or HRQoL score changes) between POAF patients and no-POAF patients. CONCLUSIONS: Compared with no-POAF patients, POAF patients had higher discharge and 1-year costs along with higher 1-year mortality rates, but no differences were observed in 1-year HRQoL scores. Additional research appears warranted to improve the longer-term survival rates for POAF CABG patients, targeting future POAF-specific postdischarge interventions.

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