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Am J Cardiol. 2011 Oct 1;108(7):943-8. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2011.05.023. Epub 2011 Jul 26.

Effect of living alone on patient outcomes after hospitalization for acute myocardial infarction.

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Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.


Considerable attention has been devoted to the effect of social support on patient outcomes after acute myocardial infarction (AMI). However, little is known about the relation between patient living arrangements and outcomes. Thus, we used data from PREMIER, a registry of patients hospitalized with AMI at 19 United States centers from 2003 through 2004, to assess the association of living alone with outcomes after AMI. Outcome measurements included 4-year mortality, 1-year readmission, and 1-year health status using the Seattle Angina Questionnaire (SAQ) and the Short Form-12 Physical Health Component scales. Patients who lived alone had higher crude 4-year mortality (21.8% vs 14.5%, p <0.001) but comparable rates of 1-year readmission (41.6% vs 38.3%, p = 0.79). Living alone was associated with lower unadjusted quality of life (mean SAQ -2.40, 95% confidence interval [CI] -4.44 to -0.35, p = 0.02) but had no impact on Short Form-12 Physical Health Component (-0.45, 95% CI -1.65 to 0.76, p = 0.47) compared to patients who did not live alone. After multivariable adjustment, patients who lived alone had a comparable risk of mortality (hazard ratio 1.35, 95% CI 0.94 to 1.93) and readmission (hazard ratio 0.99, 95% CI 0.76 to 1.28) as patients who lived with others. Mean quality-of-life scores remained lower in patients who lived alone (SAQ -2.91, 95% CI -5.56 to -0.26, p = 0.03). In conclusion, living alone may be associated with poorer angina-related quality of life 1 year after MI but is not associated with mortality, readmission, or other health status measurements after adjusting for other patient and treatment characteristics.

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