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Hellenic J Cardiol. 2007 Nov-Dec;48(6):325-34.

Epidemiological characteristics, management and early outcome of acute myocardial infarction in Greece: the HELlenic Infarction Observation Study.

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First Cardiac Department, Evangelismos Hospital, Athens, Greece.



Taking into consideration the need for an updated survey on acute myocardial infarction (AMI) in Greece, we conducted the HELIOS study (HELlenic Infarction Observation Study), aiming to recruit a cohort of AMI patients that would be representative of the total AMI population.


The HELIOS study is a countrywide registry of AMI, conducted during 2005-2006 by the Prevention Working Group of the Hellenic Cardiological Society. We enrolled 1840 AMI pts from 31 hospitals (mean age 68 +/- 13 years, 75% men, 1096 ST-elevation myocardial infarction [STEMI] patients), with a proportional representation of all types of hospitals and of all geographical areas. The study recruited 10% of the total number of AMI cases that occur per year on a countrywide basis, taking into consideration the seasonal variations of the population in each geographical area.


Despite demographic changes, there is still a male predominance among AMI patients and an increasing prevalence of cardiometabolic risk factors, (obesity, diabetes, hypertension) compared to previous AMI studies in the Greek population. Almost 60% of STEMI patients received reperfusion therapy, but the median value of the pain-to-door time was 180 minutes. The rates of administration of evidence-based medications during hospitalisation or upon discharge and the short-term mortality rates were in accordance with those observed in other international AMI registries.


The HELIOS study provided valuable insights into the epidemiology, clinical characteristics, management and outcome of patients with AMI in the Greek population. Although there are notable advances compared to previous reports, there is still considerable room for improvement and we should particularly focus on minimising the time delay between arrival at the emergency department and performance of reperfusion, by either pharmacological or catheter-based approaches.

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