Ezekowitz, J. A., Kaul, P., Bakal, J. A., Armstrong, P. W., Welsh, R. C., McAlister, F. A.
OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to examine the long-term incidence of heart failure (HF) in elderly patients with myocardial infarction (MI). BACKGROUND: In-hospital HF is common after MI and is associated with poor short-term prognosis. Limited data exist concerning the long-term incidence or prognosis of HF after MI, particularly in the era of coronary revascularization. METHODS: A population-based cohort of 7,733 patients > or = 65 years of age hospitalized for a first MI (International Classification of Diseases-9th Revision-Clinical Modification code 410.x) and without a prior history of HF was established between 1994 and 2000 in Alberta, Canada, and followed up for 5 years. RESULTS: During the index MI hospitalization, 2,831 (37%) MI patients were diagnosed with new HF and 1,024 (13%) died. Among hospital survivors who did not have HF during their index hospitalization (n = 4,291), an additional 3,040 patients (71%) developed HF by 5 years, 64% of which occurred in the first year. In total, 5,871 (76%) elderly patients who survived their first MI developed HF over 5 years. Among those who survived the index hospitalization, the 5-year mortality rate was 39.1% for those with HF during the index MI hospitalization compared with 26.7% among those without HF (p < 0.0001) during the index MI hospitalization. Over the study period, the 5-year mortality rate after MI decreased by 28%, whereas the 5-year rate of HF increased by 25%. CONCLUSIONS: In this large cohort of elderly patients without a history of HF, HF developed in three-quarters in the 5 years after their first MI; this proportion increased over time as peri-MI mortality rates declined. New-onset HF significantly increases the mortality risk among these patients.