A cohort of 759 coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) patients (269 women and 490 men) was enrolled in the prospective POST CABG Biobehavioral Study at 5 clinical centers in the United States and Canada. Sociodemographic and medical data were obtained by interview and from medical charts. Health- related quality of life and psychosocial data were ascertained preoperatively by interview and questionnaire for those patients whose condition allowed preoperative assessment and was compared among patients from hospitals enrolling bath male and female patients (143 women and 267 men). Women enrolled in the Biobehavioral Study were older than men (65.4 ± 9.0 vs 61.8 ± 9.7 years, p <0.001) and more likely to have a preoperative medical condition which precluded biobehavioral evaluation (47% vs 34%, p <0.001). Women were less likely to be highschool graduates (59% vs 74%, p <0.001), were less likely to be earning ≤$25,000 per year (39% vs 69%, p <0.001), and were married less often at the time of surgery (59% vs 85%, p <0.001). Fewer women than men were able to perform basic self-care activities (p <0.001) and social activities (p <0.001). Women were also less able to perform the more demanding activities required for independent living, recreation, and maintaining a household (p <0.001). Women were also more anxious (p = 0.01) and reported more depressive symptoms (p <0.001) than men. These data suggest that plans for perioperative and convalescent care for women undergoing CABG should take into account their less favorable medical and psychosocial status relative to men.