Risk of dying prematurely after a bypass surgery is found to be higher if a person lives alone or income and education are is low, stated new study.
This is the first time such a strong association between social factors and life expectancy after the surgery has been visible," says Susanne Nielsen, a surgical nurse and researcher at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg.
The study, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association and funded by the Swedish Heart-Lung Foundation, is based on data on 112,000 women and men who underwent coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) in Sweden from 1992 to 2015.
Compliance with recommendations important
The research shows that various factors are associated, both jointly and individually, with differences in post-CABG life expectancy, irrespective of sex and age.
Susanne Nielsen, who belongs to Professor Anders Jeppsson's research group, stresses the importance of everyone, after CABG, taking the medication prescribed.
"It's also tremendously important for patients not to hesitate to talk to the staff they meet in the healthcare services if they have any financial worries or experience any other form of ill health that makes them doubtful about taking the recommended medicine, or unable to comply with other key recommendations, such as giving up smoking," Nielsen thinks.
Hard to take it all in
Care professionals also need to ask the patients about their social circumstances and whether they need any extra support, Nielsen thinks. Undergoing CABG is, for many, a big event and this can make it more difficult for them to take in all the information and advice they are given. "As a patient, you get lots of information and it's hardly surprising that it's hard to take it all in. So it's very important for patients not to hesitate about asking questions if they don't understand the advice they're given by the care and medical staff they come into contact with," Nielsen states.