Objectives: To describe the characteristics and outcome of patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) in a community, with particular emphasis on those who never reached a Coronary Care Unit (CCU) and those in whom the primary diagnosis was something other than a heart attack. Methods: Patients hospitalised in the city of Göteborg, Sweden, and discharged (dead or alive) with a diagnosis of AMI. Results: Among 1423 patient admissions the mean overall age was 75 years (81 years and 79 years in the two subsets). Among all patients, 33% had a history of heart failure and 20% had a history of cerebrovascular disease. The figures were even higher in the two subsets which were evaluated. In overall terms, an invasive strategy (coronary angiography) was used in 32% (in 5% and 9% in the two subsets respectively). The overall one-year and three-year mortality rate was 30% and 44% respectively. The three-year mortality rate among patients not admitted to a CCU was 65% and, among patients with no suspicion of a heart attack on admission, it was 68%. Conclusion: Even in the 21st century, patients with AMI who reach hospital alive run a high risk of death and nearly half are dead within the first three years. In overall terms, patients are characterised by high age and high co-morbidity. Among patients who do not reach a CCU and among patients with no suspicion of AMI on admission, approximately two thirds are dead within the subsequent three years.
- Acute myocardial infarction
- Coronary care