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Eur J Epidemiol. 2007;22(3):145-9. Epub 2007 Mar 14.

Survival of patients discharged after acute myocardial infarction and evidence-based drug therapy.

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Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Allgemeines Krankenhaus Wien, Medical University of Vienna, Währinger Gürtel 18-20, 1090 Vienna, Austria.


There is consensus that patients should be treated with antiplatelet agents, beta-blockers, ACE-inhibitors/ARBs, and lipid lowering drugs for secondary prevention after acute myocardial infarction (AMI), but this evidence-based pharmacotherapy is underutilized. A quality improvement program was conducted in the Austrian county of Burgenland to emphasize the importance of cardiovascular drug therapy at hospital discharge in patients with AMI. In this prospective cohort study 250 members of a regional health insurance company, Burgenländische Gebietskrankenkasse (BGKK), with AMI during the year 2003 were identified using BGKK database. Discharge prescriptions and pharmacy reimbursement data of all included patients were determined. Overall prescription rate for patients discharged from hospital after AMI (n = 207) was 86% for platelet aggregation inhibitors, 77% for ACE-inhibitors or ARBs, 72% for beta-blockers, and 68% for a lipid lowering agent including statins. The all-cause mortality rate during a mean follow-up period of 552 days was 20%. Hazard ratio (HR) for death of patients with maximum 2 medications vs. those receiving 3 or 4 medications was 2.23 (95% CI: 1.19-4.18; p = 0.012). These data demonstrate that use of evidence-based drug treatment for prevention of mortality in patients with AMI is associated with risk reduction and survival benefit. Continuous quality improvement initiatives serve to improve outcome after AMI.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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