Background: The Global Registry of Acute Coronary Events (GRACE)-a prospective, multinational study of patients hospitalized with acute coronary syndromes (ACSs)-was designed to improve the quality of care for patients with an ACS. Expanded GRACE aims to test the feasibility of a simplified data collection tool and provision of quarterly feedback to index individual hospital management practices to an international reference cohort.
Methods: We describe the objectives; study design; study and data management; and the characteristics, management, and hospital outcomes of patients > or =18 years old enrolled with a presumptive diagnosis of ACS.
Results: From 2001 to 2007, 31,982 patients were enrolled at 184 hospitals in 25 countries; 30% were diagnosed with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction, 31% with non-ST-segment myocardial infarction, 26% with unstable angina, and 12% with another cardiac/noncardiac final diagnosis. The median age was 65 (interquartile range 55-75) years; 24% were >75 years old, and 33% were women. In general, increases were observed over time across the spectrum of ACS (1) in the use in the first 24 hours and at discharge of aspirin, clopidogrel, beta-blockers, and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors/receptor blockers; (2) in the use at discharge of statins; (3) in the early use of glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitors and low-molecular-weight heparin; and (4) in the use of cardiac catheterization and percutaneous coronary intervention. An increase in the use of primary percutaneous coronary intervention and a similar decrease in the use of fibrinolysis in ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction were also seen.
Conclusions: Over the course of 7 years, general increases in the use of evidence-based therapies for ACS patients were observed in the expanded GRACE.