There are limited contemporary data available describing recent trends in the magnitude and characteristics of patients who are rehospitalized multiple times after hospital discharge for an acute myocardial infarction (AMI). We reviewed the medical records of 4,480 residents of the Worcester, Massachusetts, metropolitan area, who were discharged from 3 Central Massachusetts medical centers after an AMI in 6 biennial periods from 2001 to 2011 and were followed for all-cause and cause-specific hospital readmissions over the subsequent 6 months. The average age of our study population was 68 years, 89% were white, and 41% were women. Overall, ∼1 of every 3 patients had a readmission to the hospital within 6 months after hospital discharge for an AMI. The proportion of patients who were readmitted to the hospital 1, 2, or 3 times for any cause within 6 months remained unchanged during the years under study (20%, 8%, and 6%, respectively); 59% of these readmissions were cardiac related. Women, elderly patients, those with multiple chronic conditions, patients with a prolonged index hospitalization, and those who developed heart failure and/or atrial fibrillation during hospitalization were at higher risk for being readmitted multiple times compared with those who were readmitted once. Six-month hospital readmission rates after hospital discharge for an AMI remained stable during the years under study. In conclusion, we identified several groups at higher risk for multiple hospital readmissions who might be targeted for intensified monitoring efforts and tailored educational and treatment approaches.
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