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Circulation. 1986 Oct;74(4):712-21.

Myocardial infarction in young patients: an analysis by age subsets.


We examined, in age subsets, 2643 patients with acute myocardial infarction. Clinical features and 1 year morbidity and mortality were compared in 203 young patients (less than 45 years), 1671 patients 46 to 70 years old, and 769 elderly patients (greater than 70 years). Ninety-two percent of young patients were men, and a family history of premature coronary artery disease was more common in young patients (41% compared with 28% of middle-aged and 12% of elderly patients). More young patients were currently smoking cigarettes (82% compared with 56% of middle-aged and 24% of elderly patients), and only 8% of young patients had never smoked. Previous myocardial infarction and history of angina pectoris or congestive heart failure were less common (p less than .001) in the young patients than in middle-aged and elderly patients. In-hospital mortality was only 2.5% for young patients, compared with 9.0% in middle-aged and 21.4% in elderly patients (both p less than .001). Postdischarge 1 year mortality was also strikingly low in young patients, at 2.6% compared with 10.3% in middle-aged and 24.4% in elderly patients. The incidence of reinfarction during the 1 year of follow-up was similar in all subsets. The statistical significance of 65 variables as predictors of 1 year mortality and reinfarction was tested and the following found to be significant (p less than .05): hospital discharge on antiarrhythmic drugs, digoxin, or diuretics; history of previous myocardial infarction or congestive heart failure; chest x-ray findings of heart failure; low ejection fraction; and atrial fibrillation. Thus, young patients entering the hospital have an excellent 1 year prognosis, but those with prior infarction in whom there are selected abnormal findings at hospital discharge comprise a subgroup that may benefit from early aggressive management.

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