Sex Difference in Patients With Ischemic Heart Failure Undergoing Surgical Revascularization: Results From the STICH Trial (Surgical Treatment for Ischemic Heart Failure).


Female sex is conventionally considered a risk factor for coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) and has been included as a poor prognostic factor in multiple cardiac operative risk evaluation scores. We aimed to investigate the association of sex and the long-term benefit of CABG in patients with ischemic left ventricular dysfunction enrolled in the prospective STICH trial (Surgical Treatment for Ischemic Heart Failure Study).The STICH trial randomized 1212 patients (148 [12%] women and 1064 [88%] men) with coronary artery disease and left ventricular ejection fraction ≤35% to CABG+medical therapy (MED) versus MED alone. Long-term (10-year) outcomes with each treatment were compared according to sex.At baseline, women were older (63.4 versus 59.3 years; P=0.016) with higher body mass index (27.9 versus 26.7 kg/m2; P=0.001). Women had more coronary artery disease risk factors (diabetes mellitus, 55.4% versus 37.2%; hypertension, 70.9% versus 58.6%; hyperlipidemia, 70.3% versus 58.9%) except for smoking (13.5% versus 21.8%) and had lower rates of prior CABG (0% versus 3.4%; all P<0.05) than men. Moreover, women had higher New York Heart Association class (class III/IV, 66.2% versus 57.0%), lower 6-minute walk capacity (300 versus 350 m), and lower Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire overall summary scores (51 versus 63; all P<0.05). Over 10 years of follow-up, all-cause mortality (49.0% versus 65.8%; adjusted hazard ratio, 0.67; 95% confidence interval, 0.52-0.86; P=0.002) and cardiovascular mortality (34.3% versus 52.3%; adjusted hazard ratio, 0.65; 95% confidence interval, 0.48-0.89; P=0.006) were significantly lower in women compared with men. With randomization to CABG+MED versus MED treatment, there was no significant interaction between sex and treatment group in all-cause mortality, cardiovascular mortality, or the composite of all-cause mortality or cardiovascular hospitalization (all P>0.05). In addition, surgical deaths were not statistically different (1.5% versus 5.1%; P=0.187) between sexes among patients randomized to CABG per protocol as initial treatment.Sex is not associated with the effect of CABG+MED versus MED on all-cause mortality, cardiovascular mortality, the composite of death or cardiovascular hospitalization, or surgical deaths in patients with ischemic left ventricular dysfunction. Thus, sex should not influence treatment decisions about CABG in these patients.URL: Unique identifier: NCT00023595.





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Publication Info

Piña, Ileana L, Qi Zheng, Lilin She, Hanna Szwed, Irene M Lang, Pedro S Farsky, Serenella Castelvecchio, Jolanta Biernat, et al. (2018). Sex Difference in Patients With Ischemic Heart Failure Undergoing Surgical Revascularization: Results From the STICH Trial (Surgical Treatment for Ischemic Heart Failure). Circulation, 137(8). 10.1161/circulationaha.117.030526 Retrieved from

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Kerry L. Lee

Professor Emeritus of Biostatistics & Bioinformatics

As a faculty-level biostatistician, my research activities are focused on the statistical and data coordination aspects of several large multicenter clinical trials, and on statistical issues in the design and analysis of collaborative clinical research projects associated with the Duke University Cardiovascular Disease Database. I am currently the principal investigator of the statistical and data coordinating center for two NIH-sponsored multicenter randomized clinical trials, namely (1) the Pacemaker Mode Selection Trial, a 2000 patient study of dual chamber versus single chamber pacing in patients with sinus node dysfunction, and (2) the Sudden Cardiac Death in heart Failure Trial a 2,500 patient, three-arm randomized trial of implantable defibrillator therapy or amiodarone versus conventional therapy in patients with class II or III congestive heart failure. During the past year my colleagues and I have completed a third trial sponsored by the NIH for which I was the principal investigator of the data coordinating center. This trial assessed the efficiency of electrophy siologic-guided antiarrhythmic therapy in patients at risk for sudden cardiac death. I also serve as the statistical director and principal statistician for the following major clinical trials:

(1) Symphony II, a 7,000 patient randomized trial of long-term oral platelet inhibition therapy in patients following an acute coronary syndrome, sponsored by Hoffman-LaRoche.

(2) PARAGON B, a 5,200 patient trial of platelet inhibition therapy in patients with unstable angina, also sponsored by Hoffman-LaRoche.

Methodologically, my research activities are focused on the analytic and design issues associated with clinical trials, on regression modeling strategies for risk assessment with logistic and proportional hazards regression models, and on methods for validating prognostic models and assessing probabilistic predictions.

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