Objectives: We hypothesized that older patients in a regional ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) transfer program would attain comparable treatment to younger patients. Background: Older patients have been either excluded or underrepresented in STEMI clinical trials. Observational studies suggest that these patients are less likely to receive adjunctive pharmacologies and reperfusion therapy-thrombolysis or percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI)-and therapy is frequently delayed. Methods: We identified a consecutive series of 2,262 STEMI patients (March 2003-December 2008) who either presented or were transferred to Abbott Northwestern Hospital for PCI (<65 years [n = 1285], 65-74 years [n = 436], 75-84 years [n = 381], and ≥85 years [n = 160]). Main outcome measures included time-to-reperfusion therapy, adjunctive medications received, and all-cause mortality. Results Overall time-to-reperfusion therapy was similar across age strata-94 minutes (7lt;65 years), 101 minutes (65-74 years), 106 minutes (75-84 years), and 103 minutes (≥85 years). No difference in adjunctive antiplatelet or anticoagulant medications was seen at hospital admission, and only slight differences in standard post-myocardial infarction medication use were seen by age at hospital discharge. Age was an independent predictor of in-hospital and yearly mortality up to 5 years (1-year mortality 3.4% [<65 years], 9.2% [65-74 years], 15.2% [75-84 years], and 28.9% [≥85 years]; P <.0001). Conclusions Older patients receive similar care to younger patients when treated in a regional STEMI transfer program. Although all-cause mortality in the elderly is increased, the absolute rates are lower than previously established. Our data suggest primary PCI (including transfer) can be applied to all appropriate STEMI patients, regardless of age.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Grant support: Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation.