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Arch Intern Med. 1998 Jun 22;158(12):1326-32.

Preinfarction blood pressure and smoking are determinants for a fatal outcome of myocardial infarction: a prospective analysis from the Finnmark Study.

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Institute of Community Medicine, University of Tromsø, Norway.



Serum cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and smoking are the classic coronary risk factors, but what determines whether a myocardial infarction will be fatal or not?


To investigate cardiovascular risk factors that may influence survival in subjects with coronary heart disease (myocardial infarction and sudden death).


All inhabitants aged 35 to 52 years in Finnmark County, Norway, were invited to a cardiovascular survey in 1974-1975 and/or 1977-1978. Attendance rate was 90.5%. A total of 6995 men and 6320 women were followed up for 14 years with regard to incident myocardial infarction and sudden death. Predictors for 28-day case fatality rate after first myocardial infarction were analyzed.


During 186 643 person-years, 635 events among men and 125 events among women were registered. The case fatality rate was 31.6% in men and 28.0% in women (P =.50). Among men (women) with baseline systolic blood pressure lower than 140 mm Hg, the 28-day case fatality rate was 24.5% (22.6%), among those with systolic blood pressure of 140 through 159 mm Hg, the case fatality rate was 35.6% (28.2%), and among those with systolic blood pressure of 160 mm Hg or higher, the case fatality rate was 48.2% (41.7%). Of the 760 subjects with myocardial infarction, 348 died during follow-up. In Cox regression analysis, systolic blood pressure at baseline was strongly related to death (relative risk per 15 mm Hg, 1.22; 95% confidence interval, 1.13-1.31). Daily smoking at baseline (relative risk, 1.40; 95% confidence interval, 1.07-1.85) and age at time of event (relative risk per 5 years, 1.12; 95% confidence interval, 1.01-1.24) were additional significant risk factors, while total serum and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels were unrelated to survival. Similar results were obtained with diastolic blood pressure in the model.


Preinfarction blood pressure was an important predictor of case fatality rate in myocardial infarction. Daily smoking and age were additional significant predictors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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