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Rev Port Cardiol. 2010 Jan;29(1):7-21.

Chronic medical comorbidities in patients with acute coronary syndrome.

[Article in English, Portuguese]

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Hospital de São Bernardo, Centro Hospitalar de Setúbal, E.P.E., Setúbal, Portugal.



Patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) frequently present chronic noncardiovascular medical comorbidities that can influence treatment and prognosis. Compliance with therapeutic guidelines in ACS is crucial to event reduction and the presence of these comorbidities may be a determining factor in guideline adherence.


To assess the prevalence of chronic noncardiovascular medical comorbidities in patients with ACS and their impact on guideline adherence.


We studied consecutive patients admitted to the coronary care unit of our institution with a diagnosis of ACS. We identified patients with noncardiovascular comorbidities, divided into five groups: chronic renal failure, pulmonary disease, gastrointestinal disease, blood disease or cancer). We assessed complete adherence to pharmacological therapy plus reperfusion (mechanical or pharmacological) in ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction, and use of coronary angiography in non-ST segment elevation myocardial infarction. We compared guideline adherence according to the presence or absence of comorbidities and their impact on in-hospital mortality.


The study sample consisted of 146 patients, mean age 64 +/- 13 years and 71% male. In 53% of the patients at least one comorbidity was identified: chronic renal failure in 23%, pulmonary disease in 14%, gastrointestinal disease in 20%, blood disease in 7% and cancer in 9%. Patients with comorbidities were older, and more frequently had a history of ACS, heart failure and peripheral arterial disease. Complete adherence to guidelines was worse in the group with comorbidities (56% vs. 74%; p = 0.025). The presence of noncardiovascular comorbidities was associated with higher in-hospital mortality (9% vs. 0%, p = 0.011).


Noncardiovascular medical comorbidities are frequently found in patients with ACS. Adherence to therapeutic guidelines for ACS is suboptimal, particularly in patients with chronic noncardiovascular comorbidities. Moreover, the presence of such comorbidities influences short-term prognosis in ACS patients.

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