There are limited population-based data available describing trends in the long-term prognosis of patients discharged from the hospital after an initial acute myocardial infarction (AMI). Our objectives were to describe multidecade trends in post-discharge mortality and their association with hospital management practices in patients discharged from all medical centers in Central Massachusetts after a first AMI. Residents of the Worcester, Massachusetts, metropolitan area discharged from all hospitals in Central Massachusetts after a first AMI from 1975 to 2009 comprised the study population (n = 8,728). Multivariable-adjusted logistic regression analyses were used to examine the association between year of hospitalization and 1-year post-discharge mortality. The average age of this population was 66 years, and 40% were women. Patients hospitalized in 1999 to 2009, compared with those discharged in 1975 to 1984, were older, more likely to be women, and have multiple previously diagnosed co-morbidities. Hospital use of invasive cardiac interventions and medications increased markedly over time. Unadjusted 1-year mortality rates were 12.9%, 12.5%, and 15.8% for patients discharged during 1975 to 1984, 1986 to 1997, and 1999 to 2009, respectively. After adjusting for several demographic characteristics, clinical factors, and inhospital complications, there were no significant differences in the odds of dying at 1-year post-discharge during the years under study. After further adjustment for hospital treatment practices, the odds of dying at 1 year post-discharge was 2.43 (95% confidence interval = 1.83 to 3.23) times higher in patients hospitalized in 1999 to 2009 than in 1975 to 1984. In conclusion, the increased use of invasive cardiac interventions and pharmacotherapies was associated with enhanced long-term survival in patients hospitalized for a first AMI.
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