Functional decline in elderly patients presenting with acute coronary syndromes: impact on midterm outcome

Arch Cardiovasc Dis. 2010 Jan;103(1):19-25. doi: 10.1016/j.acvd.2009.09.005. Epub 2009 Nov 28.


Background: Elderly patients with an acute coronary syndrome (ACS) are less likely to be enrolled into randomized, controlled trials or receive guideline-recommended therapies, because of a higher burden of comorbidity, including functional decline.

Aim: To assess the prognostic value of functional decline in a prospective, observational cohort of elderly ACS patients.

Methods: ACS patients aged > or = 70 years were enrolled. The ACS definition included ST- and non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction, and unstable angina pectoris. Clinical admission and laboratory data and echocardiographic variables were recorded. Functional decline was defined as needing assisted care in daily life. The study endpoint was all-cause mortality.

Results: Overall, 151 patients were enrolled (mean age 78 + or - 5 years; 52% men). Twenty-eight (19%) patients had functional decline. No significant difference in therapeutic management was observed between patients with functional decline and those living independently. Twenty-seven (18%) patients died during follow-up (median 447 days). Functional decline correlated with poor outcome (p = 0.008; hazard ratio [HR] 2.87 [1.31-6.25]). Other prognostic markers were diabetes, Killip class > or = II, elevated E/Ea ratio, C-reactive protein, B-type natriuretic peptide, haemoglobin, glycaemia and no coronary angiography. By multivariable analysis, C-reactive protein >13 mg/L correlated with poor outcome (p = 0.007; HR 4.77 [1.52-14.96]). There was a trend towards correlation between functional decline and poor outcome (p = 0.051; HR = 2.77 [0.99-7.72]).

Conclusion: Functional decline seems to portend poor prognosis in elderly ACS patients. Larger, community-based studies are needed to confirm these findings in a multivariable model.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living*
  • Acute Coronary Syndrome / mortality
  • Acute Coronary Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Acute Coronary Syndrome / therapy*
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Angina, Unstable / mortality
  • Angina, Unstable / physiopathology*
  • Angina, Unstable / therapy*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Comorbidity
  • Disease Progression
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • France / epidemiology
  • Geriatric Assessment*
  • Health Services for the Aged*
  • Humans
  • Independent Living*
  • Male
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome