Objectives: The POST CABG (Post Coronary Artery Bypass Graft) Trial showed that aggressive lowering of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels reduced the progression of atherosclerosis in saphenous vein grafts. In the extended follow-up phase, aggressive lowering of LDL cholesterol levels was associated with reduced rates of clinical events. Low-dose anticoagulation therapy did not reduce the progression of atherosclerosis. We conducted this analysis to determine the effects of both lipid-lowering and low-dose anticoagulation therapy on health-related quality of life (HRQL).
Design: Randomized clinical trial, factorial design.
Setting: Outpatients in five tertiary care medical centers.
Patients: A cohort of 852 patients enrolled in the POST CABG Trial completed an HRQL questionnaire at baseline, and at the year 2 and year 4 follow-up visits.
Intervention: Aggressive LDL cholesterol lowering vs moderate LDL cholesterol lowering, and low-dose warfarin vs placebo.
Measurements: Domains included emotional status, basic physical and social functioning, perceived health status, symptoms of pain, a variety of physical symptoms, and global life satisfaction.
Results: Overall, there were no indications of systematic differences among treatment groups for any of the HRQL parameters at baseline, year 2, or year 4.
Conclusions: These data indicate that patients did not experience detrimental or beneficial effects on HRQL parameters while receiving LDL cholesterol-lowering therapy that had demonstrable benefits for treatment of atherosclerosis.