Background The purpose of this study was to compare operative mortality and midterm outcome of patients with ischemic mitral regurgitation (MR) undergoing either coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) alone or CABG with mitral valve (MV) repair. Methods From 1996 to 2001, 51 consecutive patients underwent CABG with MV repair for ischemic MR. All patients in this group were matched to similar patients with ischemic MR undergoing CABG alone during the same 6-year period using propensity analysis (considering 24 covariates, including severity of MR and New York Heart Association [NYHA] class). Results Propensity score matching yielded 51 closely matched control patients. Preoperative MR severity was 3+ or 4+ in 94% of CABG with MV repair and 96% of CABG-alone patients, and 86% of patients in each group were NYHA class III or IV. Operative mortality was 3.9% ± 2.8% in both groups. Survival was also similar between CABG with MV repair and CABG alone at 1 year (84% ± 5% versus 82% ± 5%) and 3 years (70% ± 7% versus 71% ± 7% (p = 0.43). Among survivors, NYHA class improved at follow-up (50 ± 20 months) from 3.4 ± 0.7 to 1.7 ± 1.0 for CABG with MV repair (p < 0.001) and from 3.4 ± 0.7 to 1.8 ± 1.0 for CABG alone (p < 0.001). Conclusions Operative mortality, midterm survival, and late functional class were similar between two well-matched groups of patients undergoing CABG for ischemic MR, differing only in the addition of MV repair. Whereas MV repair can be added safely to CABG in this group of high-risk patients without increasing mortality, its impact on late survival and functional class may be limited.