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Eur Heart J. 2012 Feb;33(4):515-22. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehr410. Epub 2011 Nov 16.

Temporal trends of the gaps in post-myocardial infarction secondary prevention strategies of co-morbid and elderly populations vs. younger counterparts: an analysis of three successive cohorts between 2003 and 2008.

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  • 1Laboratory of Pharmacoepidemiology, Consorzio Mario Negri Sud, Via Nazionale 8, Santa Maria Imbaro (CH), Italy.


Aims Epidemiological studies reported two contrasting trends: on one hand, a significant improvement in the use of evidence-based treatments of patients discharged with a myocardial infarction (MI). On the other hand, the increasing number of elderly and co-morbid patients who are usually less treated. The aim of this study is to examine whether improvements in the treatment of MI are homogeneously distributed throughout all subgroups of patients. Methods and results Based on record linkage of administrative registers, 21 423 patients discharged with MI in three different periods (2003, 2005, and 2007), were identified and followed up for major clinical events up to 1 year. Using as a reference temporal category those patients discharged in 2003 (odds ratios, 95% confidence intervals) and as a demographic category male patients aged ≤75 years (1.00), the study identified: in-hospital mortality significantly decreased in all periods and in all groups of patients; out-of-hospital mortality decreased only in younger patients and not in older patients; prescription of evidence-based treatments increased in all periods for all patients; however, the magnitude of improvement was mostly concentrated in younger patients. Conclusion Although there was a mean improvement in the treatment and outcome of patients discharged from an MI, most of these benefits were strongly concentrated in younger, healthier patients. Old and co-morbid populations-although representing a substantial proportion of the burden of disease-received significant less attention and barely improved their survival.

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