Statin therapy has recently been shown to decrease adverse perioperative events in patients undergoing vascular surgery. The potential beneficial effect of lipid-lowering therapy in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) is not well known. This was an observational analysis of 4,739 patients who underwent first-time isolated CABG at a single institution from 1995 to 2001. Patients were categorized into 2 groups based on treatment with a lipid-lowering agent within 30 days before surgery. Univariate and multivariate analyses were used to determine the association between lipid-lowering therapy and survival to hospital discharge. Patients in the lipid-lowering group (n = 2,334) tended to be younger (mean age 66 ± 10 vs 68 ± 10 years), were more likely to be diabetic (31% vs 28%), and on β blockers (77% vs 70%) than patients in the nonlipid-lowering group (n = 2,405). In-hospital mortality was significantly lower in the lipid-lowering group than in the nonlipid-lowering therapy group (1.4% vs 2.2%, odds ratio 0.62, 95% confidence interval 0.40 to 0.96, p = 0.03). A multivariable model demonstrated a loss of statistical significance for the effect of lipid-lowering therapy on in-hospital mortality (adjusted odds ratio 0.83, 95% confidence interval 0.5 to 1.37, p = 0.46). In conclusion, preoperative use of lipid-lowering therapy in patients undergoing CABG appears safe and is associated with improved survival to hospital discharge compared with patients not receiving lipid-lowering therapy. However, patient risk factors and other cardioprotective medication use associated with the use of preoperative lipid-lowering therapy appear to explain the association with improved survival.