The Association between Early Outcome, Health-Related Quality of Life, and Survival Following Elective Open-Heart Surgery.

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We investigated the impact of perioperative complications on patients' health-related quality of life (HRQL) and intermediate-term survival after cardiac surgery. Improved results for cardiac surgery are well demonstrated in low rates of operative mortality and morbidity. However, the association between perioperative morbid events, HRQL at 1 year, and survival is unclear. We performed a prospective study among 836 elective cardiac surgery patients to assess the impact of perioperative outcomes on survival and HRQL at 1 year. Health-related quality of life was generated using the 20-item short-form questionnaire. Kaplan-Meier and life-table estimates were used to examine the relationship of HRQL at 1-year and intermediate-term survival. All HRQL domains were statistically improved at 1 year, with the highest gains in general health perception (+19.4%) and the least gains in social (+5.1%) and mental (+5.1%) domains. Patients experiencing 1 or more perioperative complication or increased length of stay reported similar HRQL scores as patients with no complications. Patients with negative changes in social (94.5% vs 99.2%, P < .001) and general health perception (99.4% vs 95.5%, P < .001) domains showed a reduced survival compared with patients with positive HRQL gains at 2 to 5 years after surgery. Perioperative complications had minimal or no effect on HRQL at 1 year after cardiac surgery.