Purpose: The purpose of this study was to report the prevalence and the clinical significance of clinically recognized chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) during acute myocardial infarction.
Patients and methods: During 1981 to 1983, a secondary prevention study with nifedipine (SPRINT) was conducted in Israel among 2,276 survivors of acute myocardial infarction. During the study, demographic, historical, and medical data were collected on special forms for all patients with diagnosed acute myocardial infarction in 13 hospitals (the SPRINT Registry, n = 5,839). Mortality follow-up was completed for 99% of hospital survivors for a mean follow-up of 5.5 years (range: 4.5 to 7 years).
Results: The prevalence of COPD was 7% (406 of 5,839). The latter rate increased significantly in men (7.6%), smokers (9.7%), and older patients (70 years or older, 10.0%). Patients with COPD exhibited a complicated hospital course with an in-hospital mortality rate of 23.9%. Subsequent mortality rates in survivors at 1 and 5 years were 12.3% and 35.9%, respectively. Rates at the same time periods in patients without COPD were 17.2%, 9.2%, and 26.9% (p < 0.005 for in-hospital and 5 years). In a multivariate analysis that included age, gender, and history of myocardial infarction and congestive heart failure, COPD was not independently associated with either in-hospital or postdischarge excess fatality rates.
Conclusion: In this large cohort of consecutive patients with myocardial infarction, the prevalence of COPD was 7% and higher among smokers, men, and elderly patients. Although in-hospital and postdischarge mortality rates were higher among patients with COPD, this condition did not independently increase either the risk of early death or the risk of long-term mortality among survivors of acute myocardial infarction.