In 1987, the VA Cardiac Surgery Advisory Group, now called the VA Cardiac Surgery Consultants Committee, was also concerned with the use of unadjusted operative mortality and volume as major quality indicators for the approximately 45 VA cardiac surgery programs. Using the logistic regression method developed by the Collaborative Study in Coronary Artery Surgery investigators, under the direction of Karl E. Hammermeister, MD, the VA developed a risk model for coronary bypass and for valve and other surgical procedures. The first report of these risk variables was presented to the STS in 1989.5 The method included capturing data on all cardiac surgery procedures performed using a single-page data sheet including clinical risk, cardiac catheterization, operative, and outcome variables. Risk variables predictive for mortality for patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting were determined to be age, prior heart surgery, priority of surgery, pulmonary rales, New York Heart Functional Class, peripheral vascular disease, current diuretic use, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The most common predictors of operative mortality for patients undergoing valve and other cardiac operations were age, priority of surgery, peripheral vascular disease, and great vessel repair.