Open Access Highly Accessed Open Badges Original investigation

Associations of metabolic syndrome and diabetes mellitus with 16-year survival after CABG

Ville Hällberg12*, Ari Palomäki1, Jorma Lahtela23, Seppo Voutilainen4, Matti Tarkka23, Matti Kataja5 and The Study Group (W-CABG)

Author Affiliations

1 Kanta-Häme Central Hospital, Hämeenlinna, Finland

2 University of Tampere, Medical School, Tampere, Finland

3 Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland

4 Päijät-Häme Central Hospital, Lahti, Finland

5 National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland

For all author emails, please log on.

Cardiovascular Diabetology 2014, 13:25  doi:10.1186/1475-2840-13-25

Published: 22 January 2014



The associations of metabolic syndrome (MetS) or diabetes mellitus (DM) on long-term survival after coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) have not been extensively evaluated. The aim of the present study was to assess the impact of MetS and DM on the 16-year survival after CABG.


Diabetic and metabolic status together with relevant cardiovascular data was established in 910 CABG patients operated in 1993-94. They were divided in three groups as follows: neither DM nor MetS (375 patients), MetS alone (279 patients) and DM with or without MetS (256 patients). The 16-year follow-up of patient survival was carried out using national health databases. The relative survival rates were analyzed using the Life Table method comparing the observed survival rates of three patient groups to the rates based on age-, sex- and time-specific life tables for the whole population in Finland. To study the independent significance of MetS and DM for clinical outcome, multivariate analysis was made using an optimizing stepwise procedure based on the Bayesian approach.


Bayesian multivariate analysis revealed together six variables to predict clinical outcome (2 months to 16 years) in relation to the national background population, i.e. age, diabetes, left ventricular ejection fraction, BMI, perfusion time during the CABG and peripheral arterial disease. Our principal finding was that after postoperative period the 16-year prognosis of patients with neither DM nor MetS was better than that of the age-, sex-and time-matched background population (relative survival against background population 1.037, p < 0.0001). The overall survival of MetS patients resembled that of the matched background population (relative survival 0.998, NS). DM was associated with significantly increased mortality (relative survival 0.86, p < 0.0001). Additionally, mortality was even higher in patients receiving insulin treatment than in those without. Excess death rate of DM patients was predominantly caused by cardiovascular causes.


In this long-term follow-up study patient groups without diabetes had at least equal 16 years’ survival after CABG than their matched background populations. Survival of DM patients started to deteriorate already few years after the operation.

Coronary artery bypass grafting; Diabetes mellitus; Metabolic syndrome; Follow-up; Mortality