Aims: To investigate temporal trends in the risk of heart failure (HF) complicating acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and to determine whether these trends differ by gender or age.
Methods and results: The national Swedish hospital discharge and death registries from 1993 to 2004 were used to calculate age- and gender-specific trends for a first episode of HF within 3 years in 175 216 patients aged 35-84 and hospitalized with a first AMI. Overall, 14.4% of patients aged 35-64 and 31.5% of those aged 65-84 with AMI in 1993-1995 had a hospital diagnosis of HF within 3 years (including the index admission). Corresponding figures for patients with AMI from 2002 to 2004 were 11.5 and 28.0%, respectively. In multivariable analyses, the risk of HF decreased by 4% per year. Having had a stroke before admission increased HF risk by 37%, diabetes increased the risk by 76% and atrial fibrillation by 80%. Patients with any kind of valvular disease had a more than doubled risk. Women had a 6% higher incidence of HF than men, whereas men with an index admission for AMI who did not develop HF had higher mortality than women.
Conclusions: In this national sample, we observed a steady decrease in the risk of being hospitalized with HF after an AMI. However, the 3-year risk of HF remains high, with nearly one-third of AMI patients aged 65-84 developing HF within 3 years.