Objectives: The purpose of the present study is to describe changes over two decades (1975 to 1995) in the incidence, in-hospital and long-term case-fatality rates associated with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) from a multihospital community-wide perspective.
Background: Despite the magnitude of, and mortality associated with acute myocardial infarction (AMI), relatively limited population-based data are available to describe recent and temporal trends in the attack and case-fatality rates associated with AMI from a representative population-based perspective.
Methods: The community-based study included 5,270 residents of the Worcester, Massachusetts, metropolitan area hospitalized with confirmed initial AMI in all metropolitan Worcester, Massachusetts, hospitals (1990 census population = 437,000) in 10 one-year periods between 1975 and 1995.
Results: The age-adjusted incidence rates of initial AMI increased between 1975 (244 per 100,000) and 1981 (272 per 100,000), after which time these rates declined through 1995 (184 per 100,000). The crude and multivariable-adjusted in-hospital case-fatality rates exhibited a consistent decline between 1975/1978 (17.8%), 1986/1988 (17.0%) and 1993/1995 (11.7%). Although there were no statistically significant differences in the unadjusted long-term case-fatality rates of discharged hospital survivors over the periods under study, declines in the multivariable-adjusted risk of dying within the first year after hospital discharge were observed between the earliest and most recently discharged patients with AMI.
Conclusions: The results of this population-based study of patients with validated initial AMI provide encouragement for efforts directed at the primary and secondary prevention of AMI given declining incidence and case-fatality rates.