Hospital length of stay in patients with non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction

Am J Med. 2012 Nov;125(11):1085-94. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2012.04.038. Epub 2012 Aug 22.


Purpose: Substantial heterogeneity in hospital length of stay exists among patients admitted with non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction. Furthermore, little is known about the factors that impact length of stay.

Methods: We examined 39,107 non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction patients admitted to 351 Acute Coronary Treatment Intervention Outcomes Network Registry-Get With The Guidelines hospitals from January 1, 2007-March 31, 2009 who underwent cardiac catheterization and survived to discharge. Length of stay was categorized into 4 groups (≤2, 3-4, 5-7, and ≥8 days), where prolonged length of stay was defined as >4 days.

Results: The overall median (25(th), 75(th)) length of stay was 3 (2, 5) days. Patients with a length of stay of >2 days were older with more comorbidities, but were less likely to receive evidence-based therapies or percutaneous coronary intervention. Among the factors associated with prolonged length of stay >4 days were delay to cardiac catheterization >48 hours, heart failure or shock on admission, female sex, insurance type, and admission to the hospital on a Friday afternoon or evening. Hospital characteristics such as academic versus nonacademic or urban versus rural setting, were not associated with prolonged length of stay.

Conclusion: Patients with longer length of stay have more comorbidities and in-hospital complications, yet paradoxically, are less often treated with evidence-based medications and are less likely to receive percutaneous coronary intervention. Hospital admission on a Friday afternoon or evening and delays to catheterization appear to significantly impact length of stay. A better understanding of factors associated with length of stay in patients with non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction is needed to promote safe and early discharge in an era of increasingly restrictive health care resources.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cardiac Catheterization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / complications
  • Myocardial Infarction / therapy*
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Registries
  • Risk Factors
  • United States