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Factors related to hospitalization for heart failure (HF) following coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery were studied.Patients (n = 65 377) undergoing CABG surgery in New Jersey from 1998 to 2007 were identified from the state cardiac surgery database; subsequent hospitalizations for HF were assessed using the Myocardial Infarction Data Acquisition System database. Patients were classified based on pre-operative ejection fraction (EF). Multivariate models were used to identify factors related to HF admission and mortality. Post-CABG HF admission rates among patients with pre-operative EF <35% increased over the 10-year period (P = 0.02), but no significant trend was seen among patients with EF ≥35%. Independent factors associated with post-CABG HF admission within 2 years were: EF, age, female gender, Black race, smoking, diabetes, renal disease, hypertension, and cerebrovascular disease. Pre-operative use of beta-blockers increased over the years (P < 0.0001) and reduced the risk of admission for HF by 13%, with greater benefit in patients with lower EF. Mortality remained unchanged from 1998 to 2007, averaging 1.8% in-hospital and 5.1% and 7.2% at 1-year and 2-year follow-up, respectively.Pre-operative EF is a strong predictor of HF admission within 2 years after CABG surgery. The use of beta-blockers decreased HF admission after CABG, especially in patients with EF <35%. Despite the more pronounced benefit and increasing use of beta-blockers in patients with a low EF, HF admission rates in this group of patients are rising. This suggests that more comprehensive management of factors associated with HF is necessary.