Aims: The elderly constitute an increasing proportion of all patients with acute coronary syndromes (ACS). However, increased age has been identified as an important risk factor for adverse events and complications of ACS and treatment. The purpose of this study was to investigate age-related differences in presentation and diagnostics, as well as contemporary treatment and outcome in a large series of elderly patients receiving an invasive strategy for ACS.
Methods and results: The present study is an analysis of all patients, who were enrolled in the German Arbeitsgemeinschaft Leitende Kardiologische Krankenhausärzte (ALKK) registry in 2008. To assess age-related differences, subjects were divided into three groups: (<75 yrs, 75 to 85 yrs and >85 yrs). Out of 19,708 consecutive patients who were admitted for the treatment of ACS and enrolled in the ALKK registry, 14,174 (71.9%) were <75 yrs, 4,685 (23.8%) were between 75 and 84 yrs and 849 (4.3%) patients were >85 yrs. Therapy recommendation after diagnostic angiography was conservative in 24.6% of the youngest, in 25.1% of the elderly, and in 25.3% of the very elderly patients. Interventional success rates were 95.2% in the youngest vs. 93.1% in the elderly and very elderly patient group (p<0.001). Overall in-hospital event rate increased significantly with age (3.4% vs. 7.4% vs. 8.3%, respectively; p<0.001).
Conclusions: Our analysis shows that there is a high success rate among the large proportion of elderly patients who are treated for ACS by an intervention. Complication rates increased significantly, however, with age.