Impact of combination medical therapy on mortality in vascular surgery patients

Thomas W. Barrett, Kathleen Newton, Caroline Koudelka, Motomi Mori, Le Ann Radcliffe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Th use of beta-blockers or statins has been associated with decreased mortality after noncardiac surgery. There are no prior perioperative studies of concurrent use of other cardioprotective drugs. OBJECTIVE: To ascertain whether combinations of aspirin, beta-blockers, statins, and/or angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors were associated with decreased mortality 6 months after vascular surgery. PATIENTS AND DESIGN: We performed a retrospective cohort study on the 3020 patients who underwent vascular surgery between January 1998 and March 2005 at 5 regional Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers. The Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel test was used to assess associations with 6-month all-cause mortality for the combination drug exposures compared to no exposure while adjusting for propensity score. RESULTS: Exposure to all 4 of the study drugs compared to none had a propensity-adjusted relative risk (aRR) of 0.52 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.26-1.01; P = 0.052), number needed to treat (NNT) 19; 3 drugs vs. none, aRR 0.60 (95% CI, 0.38-0.95; P = 0.030), NNT 38; 2 drugs vs. none, aRR 0.68 (95% CI, 0.46-0.99; P = 0.043), NNT 170; and 1 drug vs. none, aRR 0.88 (95% CI, 0.63-1.22; P = 0.445). ACE inhibitor exposure was common in all combinations. CONCLUSIONS: Combination use of 2 to 3 study drugs, some of which included ACE inhibitors, was associated with decreased mortality after vascular surgery. Combination use of all 4 study drugs was not statistically significant due to the small number of events in this group. Further prospective studies of combination perioperative aspirin, beta-blockers, statins, and ACE inhibitors are warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)218-225
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of hospital medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Mortality
  • Perioperative medicine
  • Vascular surgery
  • Veterans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Leadership and Management
  • Fundamentals and skills
  • Health Policy
  • Care Planning
  • Assessment and Diagnosis


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