Objectives: We sought to compare the effects of an early interventional strategy (IS) versus a conservative strategy (CS) on health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in patients with non-ST-segment elevation acute coronary syndromes (ACS).
Background: The third Randomized Intervention Trial of unstable Angina (RITA-3) evaluated early IS (n = 895) versus CS (n = 915). We report one-year results of the RITA-3 trial concerning HRQOL.
Methods: The patients' HRQOL was assessed with the Short Form-36 (SF-36) and Seattle Angina Questionnaire (SAQ) at four-month and one-year follow-up, and the EuroQOL Visual Analogue Scale (EQ-VAS) and EuroQOL 5-Dimensional Classification (EQ-5D) also measured at baseline. Analysis was performed using the two-sample t test and analysis of co-variance.
Results: Mean changes from baseline EQ-VAS scores were better for IS than for CS at four months (treatment difference of 3.0, p < 0.001) and one year (2.3, p < 0.01). The EQ-5D utility scores were also higher for IS at four months (treatment difference: 0.036, p < 0.01) and at one year (0.016, p = 0.20). For SF-36, IS scored significantly better at four months for physical function, physical role function, emotional role function, social function, vitality, and general health. The SAQ scores for exertional capacity, anginal stability and frequency, treatment satisfaction, and disease perception were better for IS at four months. These treatment differences were present but attenuated by one-year follow-up. Improvements in HRQOL for IS could be attributed to improvements in anginal symptoms.
Conclusions: In patients with non-ST-segment elevation ACS, an early IS provides greater gains in HRQOL, as compared with CS, mainly due to improvements in angina grade.