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J Am Geriatr Soc. 2014 Aug;62(8):1451-9. doi: 10.1111/jgs.12941.

Characteristics, treatment practices, and in-hospital outcomes of older adults hospitalized with acute myocardial infarction.

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Department of Quantitative Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts.



To examine overall and decade-long trends (1999-2009), characteristics, treatment practices, and hospital outcomes in individuals aged 65 and older hospitalized for acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and to describe how these factors varied in the youngest, middle, and oldest-old individuals.


Retrospective cohort study.


Population-based Worcester Heart Attack Study.


Analyses were conducted to examine the sociodemographic and clinical characteristics, cardiac treatments, and hospital outcomes of older adults in three age strata (65-74, 75-84, ≥85).


The study sample consisted of 3,851 individuals aged 65 and older hospitalized with AMI every other year between 1999 and 2009; 32% were aged 65 to 74, 43% aged 75 to 84, and 25% aged 85 and older.


Advancing age was inversely associated with receipt of evidence-based cardiac therapies. After multivariable adjustment, the odds of dying during hospitalization was 1.46 times as high in participants aged 75 to 84 and 1.78 times as high in those aged 85 and older as in those aged 65 to 74. The oldest-old participants had approximately 25% lower odds of a prolonged hospital stay (>3 days) than those aged 65 to 74. Decade-long trends in the principal study outcomes were also examined. Although the oldest-old participants hospitalized for AMI were at the greatest risk of dying, persistent age-related differences were observed in hospital treatment practices. Similar results were observed after excluding participants with a do-not-resuscitate order in their medical records.


Although there are persistent disparities in the care and outcomes of older adults hospitalized with AMI, additional studies are needed to delineate the extent to which less-aggressive care reflects individual preferences and appropriate implementation of palliative care approaches.


acute myocardial infarction; changing trends; elderly

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