Aims: The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between heart rate at admission and in-hospital mortality in patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) and non-ST-segment elevation acute coronary syndrome (NSTE-ACS).
Methods: Consecutive ACS patients admitted in 2008-2010 across 58 hospitals in six participant countries of the European Hospital Benchmarking by Outcomes in ACS Processes (EURHOBOP) project (Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Portugal and Spain). Cardiogenic shock patients were excluded. Associations between heart rate at admission in categories of 10 beats per min (bpm) and in-hospital mortality were estimated by logistic regression in crude models and adjusting for age, sex, obesity, smoking, hypertension, diabetes, known heart failure, renal failure, previous stroke and ischaemic heart disease. In total 10,374 patients were included.
Results: In both STEMI and NSTE-ACS patients, a U-shaped relationship between admission heart rate and in-hospital mortality was found. The lowest risk was observed for heart rates between 70-79 bpm in STEMI and 60-69 bpm in NSTE-ACS; risk of mortality progressively increased with lower or higher heart rates. In multivariable models, the relationship persisted but was significant only for heart rates >80 bpm. A similar relationship was present in both patients with or without diabetes, above or below age 75 years, and irrespective of the presence of atrial fibrillation or use of beta-blockers.
Conclusion: Heart rate at admission is significantly associated with in-hospital mortality in patients with both STEMI and NSTE-ACS. ACS patients with admission heart rate above 80 bpm are at highest risk of in-hospital mortality.
Keywords: Heart rate; ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction; acute coronary syndrome; mortality; non-ST-segment elevation acute coronary syndrome.