Thirty-day rehospitalizations after acute myocardial infarction: a cohort study

Ann Intern Med. 2012 Jul 3;157(1):11-8. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-157-1-201207030-00004.


Background: Rehospitalization is a quality-of-care indicator, yet little is known about its occurrence and predictors after myocardial infarction (MI) in the community.

Objective: To examine 30-day rehospitalizations after incident MI.

Design: Retrospective cohort study.

Setting: Population-based registry in Olmsted County, Minnesota.

Patients: 3010 patients who were hospitalized in Olmsted County with first-ever MI from 1987 to 2010 and survived to hospital discharge.

Measurements: Diagnoses, therapies, and complications during incident and subsequent hospitalizations were identified. Manual chart review was performed to determine the cause of all rehospitalizations. The hazard ratios and cumulative incidence of 30-day rehospitalizations were determined by using Cox proportional hazards regression models.

Results: Among 3010 patients (mean age, 67 years; 40.5% female) with incident MI (31.2% ST-segment elevation), 643 rehospitalizations occurred within 30 days in 561 (18.6%) patients. Overall, 30.2% of rehospitalizations were unrelated to the incident MI and 42.6% were related; the relationship was unclear in 27.2% of rehospitalizations. Angiography was performed in 153 (23.8%) rehospitalizations. Revascularization was performed in 103 (16.0%) rehospitalizations, of which 46 (44.7%) had no revascularization during the index hospitalization. After adjustment for potential confounders, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, anemia, higher Killip class, longer length of stay during the index hospitalization, and a complication of angiography or reperfusion or revascularization were associated with increased rehospitalization risk. The 30-day incidence of rehospitalization was 35.3% in patients who experienced a complication of angiography during the index MI hospitalization and 31.6% in those who experienced a complication of reperfusion or revascularization during the index MI hospitalization, compared with 16.8% in patients who had reperfusion or revascularization without complications.

Limitation: This study represents the experiences of a single community.

Conclusion: Comorbid conditions, longer length of stay, and complications of angiography and revascularization or reperfusion are associated with increased 30-day rehospitalization risk after MI. Many rehospitalizations seem to be unrelated to the incident MI.

Primary funding source: National Institutes of Health.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Confounding Factors, Epidemiologic
  • Coronary Angiography / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Minnesota
  • Myocardial Infarction* / diagnostic imaging
  • Myocardial Infarction* / therapy
  • Myocardial Reperfusion / adverse effects
  • Myocardial Revascularization / adverse effects
  • Patient Readmission / statistics & numerical data*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Time Factors