Return to work after coronary angioplasty: A report from the national heart, lung, and blood institute percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty registry

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      Employment status was analyzed in 2,250 patients enrolled at 65 clinical centers in the NHLBI PTCA Registry. Patients were classified into 3 groups depending on the outcome of PTCA. In 63.6%, PTCA was successful without MI or CABG (Group A); in 25.3%, PTCA was unsuccessful and was followed by CABG (Group B); and in 11.1%, PTCA was unsuccessful and was followed by medical therapy alone (Group C). At entry, 68.3% of all patients were employed full- or part-time. The clinical characteristics of the 3 groups were different. Patients in Group C had a higher incidence of previous MI and previous CABG. In addition, patients in Group C had a significantly decreased baseline employment rate compared with those in Group A. At a mean follow-up of 1.5 years, there was a small but similar decrease in the percentage employed fullor part-time in all groups.
      Employment status also was analyzed in a subset of 1,150 patients working full- or part-time at baseline and aged 60 years or younger, who would be expected to have the highest return to work rates. At a mean follow-up of 1.4 years, 81 to 86% of patients remained working irrespective of the outcome of PTCA. However, patients with successful PTCA returned to work significantly sooner. The occurrence of chest pain during follow-up in these patients was an important predictor of return to work, irrespective of the outcome of dilatation. In patients with chest pain during follow-up, only 77% were working, compared with 90% of patients who had not had chest pain.
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