Postgrad Med J 83:154-158 doi:10.1136/pgmj.2006.049742
  • Review

Coronary artery bypass surgery in elderly people

  1. Arun Natarajan1,
  2. Samad Samadian2,
  3. Stephen Clark3
  1. 1School of Clinical Medical Sciences, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
  2. 2St Helier Hospital, Carshalton, Surrey, UK
  3. 3Regional Cardiothoracic Centre, Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr A Natarajan
 School of Clinical Medical Sciences, Newcastle University, 4th Floor, Illiam Leech Building, Framlington Place, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4HH, UK; arun.natarajan1{at}
  • Received 18 May 2006
  • Accepted 3 September 2006


An increasing number of elderly individuals are now undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery. Elderly patients, compared with patients of a younger age group, present for surgery with a greater burden of risk factors and reduced functional levels. Short-term outcomes are hence poorer in them. But symptom relief occurs in most survivors and is accompanied by excellent rates of long-term survival and a good quality of life. Therefore, an individualised risk–benefit profile must be carefully constructed by clinicians, taking into account several different factors and not just age alone. This review summarises the current concepts of coronary artery bypass surgery from the perspective of the very old.


  • Funding: None.

  • Competing interests: None.

  • Ethical approval: Not required.