Management of acute coronary syndromes in developing countries: acute coronary events-a multinational survey of current management strategies

Am Heart J. 2011 Nov;162(5):852-859.e22. doi: 10.1016/j.ahj.2011.07.029.


Background: The burden of cardiovascular diseases is predicted to escalate in developing countries. We investigated the descriptive epidemiology, practice patterns, and outcomes of patients hospitalized with acute coronary syndromes (ACS) in African, Latin American, and Middle Eastern countries.

Methods: In this prospective observational registry, 12,068 adults hospitalized with a diagnosis of ACS were enrolled between January 2007 and January 2008 at 134 sites in 19 countries in Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East. Data on patient characteristics, treatment, and outcomes were collected.

Results: A total of 11,731 patients with confirmed ACS were enrolled (46% with ST-elevation myocardial infarction [STEMI], 54% with non-ST elevation-ACS). During hospitalization, most patients received aspirin (93%) and a lipid-lowering medication (94%), 78% received a β-blocker, and 68% received an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor. Among patients with STEMI, 39% did not receive fibrinolysis or undergo percutaneous coronary intervention. All-cause death at 12 months was 7.3% and was higher in patients with STEMI versus non-ST elevation-ACS (8.4% vs 6.3%, P < .0001). Clinical factors associated with higher risk of death at 12 months included cardiac arrest, antithrombin treatment, cardiogenic shock, and age >70 years.

Conclusions: In this observational study of patients with ACS, the use of evidence-based pharmacologic therapies for ACS was quite high, yet 39% of eligible patients with STEMI received no reperfusion therapy. These findings suggest opportunities to further reduce the risk of long-term ischemic events in patients with ACS in developing countries.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Coronary Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Acute Coronary Syndrome / mortality
  • Acute Coronary Syndrome / therapy
  • Adrenergic Antagonists / administration & dosage
  • Africa / epidemiology
  • Aged
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors / administration & dosage
  • Aspirin / administration & dosage
  • Cardiac Catheterization
  • Developing Countries
  • Female
  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / administration & dosage
  • Latin America / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle East / epidemiology
  • Myocardial Infarction / epidemiology
  • Myocardial Infarction / mortality
  • Myocardial Infarction / therapy
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Registries
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Adrenergic Antagonists
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • Aspirin