coronary heart disease, coronary artery bypass, disparities, race, population groups, Black African-American



  1. Hravnak, Marilyn PhD, RN, ACNP-BC, FCCM
  2. Ibrahim, Said MD, MPH
  3. Kaufer, Abigail RN, SRNA
  4. Sonel, Ali MD, MPH
  5. Conigliaro, Joseph MD, MPH


More than 12 million people in the United States have coronary heart disease, the second leading cause of hospitalization in the United States. It is known that persons within racial minorities, specifically African Americans, have a higher prevalence of coronary heart disease, yet are much less likely to undergo invasive cardiac treatment interventions. An invasive intervention commonly used to treat coronary heart disease is coronary artery bypass grafting, with over 140,000 operations performed annually in the United States. However, blacks are known to experience higher post-coronary artery bypass graft morbidity and mortality. The causes for racial disparities in post-coronary artery bypass graft outcomes are not well known but may include factors related to the individual, provider, system, and society/environment, either alone or in combination. The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the literature regarding disparities in the health and healthcare of black patients with coronary heart disease with respect to CABG, and examine potential hypotheses for variant outcomes after surgery.