Declining In-Hospital Mortality and Increasing Heart Failure Incidence in Elderly Patients With First Myocardial Infarction

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.

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