Work-related outcomes after a myocardial infarction

Pharmacotherapy. 2004 Nov;24(11):1515-23. doi: 10.1592/phco.24.16.1515.50946.


Study objective: To evaluate work-related outcomes of patients at 7 months after a myocardial infarction and to identify patient, disease, and intervention characteristics associated with these outcomes.

Design: Cross-sectional survey analysis.

Setting: Large Midwestern academic health system.

Patients: Eighty-nine patients with the discharge diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction during a 1-year index period.

Intervention: Work performance questionnaire administered by telephone, and medical record review.

Measurements and main results: Seven months after discharge, 232 patients were interviewed by telephone to determine work status before and after myocardial infarction, work-related outcomes (absenteeism and perceived work performance, assessed by the Work Performance Scale [WPS] of the Functional Status Questionnaire), and health-related quality of life. Univariate analyses were used to determine the association between individual characteristics and work-related outcomes. Of the 89 patients who had worked before the index myocardial infarction, 21 (23.6%) did not return to work. Variables associated with the outcome of not returning to work were past myocardial infarction (before the index myocardial infarction), coronary artery bypass graft surgery, heart failure, positive stress test, and low score on the Physical Component Summary (PCS-12) scale of the Short Form-12. Patients who did not return to work also tended to have more comorbidities and take more prescribed drugs than those who returned to work. Median WPS scores were higher for patients who had higher ejection fractions at discharge, had not experienced a myocardial infarction before the index event, underwent a percutaneous revascularization intervention at the time of hospitalization, and had not recently been absent from work. Workers reporting absences had lower PCS-12 scores than their counterparts or reported a rehospitalization before the survey.

Conclusion: Preexisting cardiac disease and poorer physical functioning were consistently related to worse work-related outcomes. This small study demonstrates the need for a larger, broader study that includes health beliefs, treatment, and other job and patient factors that may influence work-related outcomes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Absenteeism
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Employment*
  • Female
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / classification*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome