Background: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has been conventionally associated with increased operative mortality and morbidity after coronary artery bypass grafting. Some studies, however, challenge this association. Moreover, the effect of COPD on long-term survival after coronary artery bypass grafting has not been adequately assessed. Thus, in this clinical setting, both early and late outcome require further examination. Methods: We studied 3,760 consecutive patients who underwent isolated coronary artery bypass grafting between 1992 and 2002. The propensity for COPD was determined by logistic regression analysis, and each patient with COPD was matched with 3 patients without COPD. Matched groups were compared for early outcome and long-term survival (mean follow-up, 7.6 years). Long-term survival data were obtained from the National Death Index. Results: There were 550 patients (14.6%) with COPD. Multivariate analysis showed that patients with COPD were older and sicker. However, propensity-matched groups did not differ in terms of hospital mortality or major morbidity, although COPD was associated with a slightly longer hospital stay. In contrast, COPD patients had increased long-term mortality, with a hazard ratio of 1.28 (95% confidence intervals, 1.11 to 1.47; p = 0.001). Freedom from all-cause mortality at 7 years after CABG was 65% and 72% in matched patients with and without COPD, respectively (p = 0.008). In patients with COPD, the hazard estimate was consistently increased up to 9 years postoperatively. Conclusions: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, although not an independent predictor of increased early mortality and morbidity in this series, is a continuing detrimental risk factor for long-term survival.