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Circulation. 2010 Mar 23;121(11):1322-8. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.109.862094. Epub 2010 Mar 8.

Recent declines in hospitalizations for acute myocardial infarction for Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries: progress and continuing challenges.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.



Amid recent efforts to reduce cardiovascular risk, whether rates of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) in the United States have declined for elderly patients is unknown.


Medicare fee-for-service patients hospitalized in the United States with a principal discharge diagnosis of AMI were identified through the use of data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services from 2002 to 2007, a time period selected to reduce changes arising from the new definition of AMI. The Medicare beneficiary denominator file was used to determine the population at risk. AMI hospitalization rates were calculated annually per 100,000 beneficiary-years with Poisson regression analysis and stratified according to age, sex, and race. The annual AMI hospitalization rate in the fee-for-service Medicare population fell from 1131 per 100,000 beneficiary-years in 2002 to 866 in 2007, a relative 23.4% decline. After adjustment for age, sex, and race, the AMI hospitalization rate declined by 5.8%/y. From 2002 to 2007, white men experienced a 24.4% decrease in AMI hospitalizations, whereas black men experienced a smaller decline (18.0%; P<0.001 for interaction). Black women had a smaller decline in AMI hospitalization rate compared with white women (18.4% versus 23.3%, respectively; P<0.001 for interaction).


AMI hospitalization rates fell markedly in the Medicare fee-for-service population between 2002 and 2007. However, black men and women appeared to have had a slower rate of decline compared with their white counterparts.

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