Antecedent risk factors and their control in young patients with a first myocardial infarction

Singapore Med J. 2006 Jan;47(1):27-30.


Introduction: Identifying and controlling cardiovascular risk factors at an early age may prevent cases of young myocardial infarction (MI). We studied age-related differences in the cumulative incidence of risk factors and the adequacy of primary prevention by surveying 1,556 patients with a first MI admitted to a tertiary hospital in Singapore.

Methods: This is a single centre registry-based study on patients admitted with a first MI to a tertiary hospital in Singapore. We stratified the cohort into younger (45 years of age and younger) and older (older than 45 years of age) groups. The presence of five risk factors, namely: hypertension, diabetes mellitus (DM), smoking, a family history of premature MI, and hyperlipidaemia, was assessed at the point of care by interview and prior medical records when obtainable. We also determined by the same methods, if these patients were receiving active treatment for DM, hypertension or hyperlipidaemia prior to their first MI. Lipid levels were measured within 24 hours of admission.

Results: 96 percent of patients 45 years and younger and 92 percent of those older than 45 years had at least one antecedent risk factor. The 45 years and younger age group had a higher incidence of untreated hypertension (odds ratio 2.99, 95 percent confidence interval 2.00-4.46, p-value is less than 0.001) and hyperlipidaemia (odds ratio 1.71, 95 percent confidence interval 1.20 - 2.43, p-value is equal to 0.002).

Conclusion: A majority of young patients with a first MI have at least one identifiable antecedent risk factor. There is significant undertreatment of hypertension and hyperlipidaemia in this age group.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperlipidemias / epidemiology*
  • Hypertension / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / epidemiology*
  • Registries
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Singapore / epidemiology
  • Smoking / epidemiology