How Much CABG is Good for Us?

This article offers a brief discussion on coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) rates throughout the world and how practice variation rates differ not only across nations, but also among neighboring regions.

In the late 1960s, researchers began to map surgery rates and noted variations, even among neighboring areas. The popularity of CABG gained momentum in the early 1970s, and soon triggered interest as to why practice variation was occurring.

Key Findings:

  • The World Bank reported the leading cause of death worldwide was coronary heart disease in its 1993 World Development Report. Yet, investments in cardiac care are slow, and have not kept pace with the rising rates of death.
  • Despite similar coronary heart disease mortality rates, certain countries have grossly higher revascularization rates.

Now that non-communicable diseases such as heart disease are entering the global health agenda due to recent advocacy, researchers are now asking:

“Which country has the right rate?” Additionally, low- and middle-income countries should be considered as millions of lives could be saved. Revascularization is not as accessible in China or India as it is in Europe or the U.S., yet by 2004, China and India had more deaths from heart attacks than any other country.