Background: Community-based registries provide the best approach to assessing the impact of myocardial infarction (MI) in a population. The objective of the present study was to determine MI mortality, incidence, attack rate and 28-day case fatality in the province of Gerona, Spain from 1990 to 1992.
Methods: Standardized methods were used to find, register and classify MI cases in that population (509628 inhabitants) as definite, possible and insufficient-data MI.
Results: Of the 1456 cases fulfilling eligibility criteria, 850 (58.4%) were classified as definite MI, 162 (11.1%) as fatal possible MI, 232 (15.9%) as no MI and 160 (11.0%) as fatal insufficient data. The 1990-1992 age-standardized incidence rates (first MI cases only) for definite and fatal possible MI were 140.8 per 100000 men and 20.4 per 100000 women, all aged 35-64 years; attack rates (first and recurrent MI cases) were 182.9 and 24.5, and mortality rates 46.4 and 5.8, respectively. Case fatality at 28 days was 27.4% and 19.9% in men and women, respectively, but women died later over that period. With respect to men, the age-adjusted risk among women of dying within 28 days post-MI was 1.26 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.94-1.69).
Conclusions: Myocardial infarction, incidence, mortality rates and case fatality in Gerona are among the lowest in the world. Age-adjusted case fatality within 28 days is only marginally higher in women than in men, but fatal cases occur later within this period in women.