Successful linking of the society of thoracic surgeons database to social security data to examine survival after cardiac operations

Jeffrey Phillip Jacobs, Fred H. Edwards, David M. Shahian, Richard L. Prager, Cameron D. Wright, John D. Puskas, David L.S. Morales, James S. Gammie, Juan A. Sanchez, Constance K. Haan, Vinay Badhwar, Kristopher M. George, Sean M. O'Brien, Rachel S. Dokholyan, Shubin Sheng, Eric D. Peterson, Cynthia M. Shewan, Kelly M. Feehan, Jane M. Han, Marshall Lewis JacobsWilliam G. Williams, John E. Mayer, W. Randolph Chitwood, Gordon F. Murray, Frederick L. Grover

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


Background: Long-term evaluation of cardiothoracic surgical outcomes is a major goal of The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS). Linking the STS Database to the Social Security Death Master File (SSDMF) allows for the verification of "life status." This study demonstrates the feasibility of linking the STS Database to the SSDMF and examines longitudinal survival after cardiac operations. Methods: For all operations in the STS Adult Cardiac Surgery Database performed in 2008 in patients with an available Social Security Number, the SSDMF was searched for a matching Social Security Number. Survival probabilities at 30 days and 1 year were estimated for nine common operations. Results: A Social Security Number was available for 101,188 patients undergoing isolated coronary artery bypass grafting, 12,336 patients undergoing isolated aortic valve replacement, and 6,085 patients undergoing isolated mitral valve operations. One-year survival for isolated coronary artery bypass grafting was 88.9% (6,529 of 7,344) with all vein grafts, 95.2% (84,696 of 88,966) with a single mammary artery graft, 97.4% (4,422 of 4,540) with bilateral mammary artery grafts, and 95.6% (7,543 of 7,890) with all arterial grafts. One-year survival was 92.4% (11,398 of 12,336) for isolated aortic valve replacement (95.6% [2,109 of 2,206] with mechanical prosthesis and 91.7% [9,289 of 10,130] with biologic prosthesis), 86.5% (2,312 of 2,674) for isolated mitral valve replacement (91.7% [923 of 1,006] with mechanical prosthesis and 83.3% [1,389 of 1,668] with biologic prosthesis), and 96.0% (3,275 of 3,411) for isolated mitral valve repair. Conclusions: Successful linkage to the SSDMF has substantially increased the power of the STS Database. These longitudinal survival data from this large multi-institutional study provide reassurance about the durability and long-term benefits of cardiac operations and constitute a contemporary benchmark for survival after cardiac operations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-39
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2011
Externally publishedYes


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