BackgroundThere are few population-based data on long-term management of patients after coronary artery bypass graft (CABG), despite the high risk for future major vascular events among this group. We assessed the prevalence and correlates of pharmacotherapy for prevention of new cardiac events in a large population-based series.MethodsA postal survey was conducted of 2500 randomly selected survivors from a state population of patients 6 to 20 years after first CABG.ResultsResponse was 82% (n = 2061). Use of antiplatelet agents (80%) and statins (64%) declined as age increased. Other independent predictors of antiplatelet use included statin use (odds ratio [OR] 1.6, 95% CI 1.26–2.05) and recurrent angina (OR 1.6, CI 1.17–2.06). Current smokers were less likely to use aspirin (OR 0.59, CI 0.4–0.89).Statin use was associated with reported high cholesterol (OR 24.4, CI 8.4–32.4), management by a cardiologist (OR 2.3, CI 1.8–3.0), and the use of calcium channel–blockers. Patients reporting hypertension or heart failure, in addition to high cholesterol, were less likely to use statins.Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors were the most commonly prescribed agents for management of hypertension (59%) and were more frequently used among patients with diabetes and those with symptoms of heart failure. Overall 42% of patients were on angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and 36% on β-blockers.ConclusionsGaps exist in the use of recommended medications after CABG. Lower anti-platelet and statin use was associated with older age, freedom from angina, comorbid heart failure or hypertension, and not regularly visiting a cardiologist. Patients who continue to smoke might be less likely to adhere to prescribed medications.