Rapid early action for coronary treatment: Rationale, design, and baseline characteristics

Denise G. Simons-Morton, David C. Goff, Stavroula Osganian, Robert J. Goldberg, James M. Raczynski, John R. Finnegan, Jane Zapka, Mickey S. Eisenberg, Michael A. Proschan, Henry A. Feldman, Jerris R. Hedges, Russell V. Luepker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Objective: Early reperfusion for acute myocardial infarction (AMI) can reduce morbidity and mortality, yet there is often delay in accessing medical care after symptom onset. This report describes the design and baseline characteristics of the Rapid Early Action for Coronary Treatment (REACT) community trial, which is testing community intervention to reduce delay. Methods: Twenty U.S. communities were pair-matched and randomly assigned within pairs to intervention or comparison. Four months of baseline data collection was followed by an 18-month intervention of community organization and public, patient, and health professional education. Primary cases were community residents seen in the ED with chest pain, admitted with suspected acute cardiac ischemia, and discharged with a diagnosis related to coronary heart disease. The primary outcome was delay time from symptom onset to ED arrival. Secondary outcomes included delay time in patients with MI/unstable engine, hospital case-fatality rate and length of stay, receipt of reperfusion, and ED/emergency medical services utilization. Impact on public and patient knowledge, attitudes, and intentions was measured by telephone interviews. Characteristics of communities and cases and comparability of paired communities at baseline were assessed. Results: Baseline cases are 46% female, 14% minorities, and 73% aged ≤55 years, and paired communities have similar demographics characteristics. Median delay time (available for 72% of cases) is 2.3 hours and does not vary between treatment conditions (p > 0.86). Conclusions: REACT communities approximate the demographic distribution of the United States and there is baseline comparability between the intervention and comparison groups. The REACT trial will provide valuable information for community educational programs to reduce patient delay for AMI symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)726-738
Number of pages13
JournalAcademic Emergency Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1998


  • Acute myocardial infarction
  • Community intervention

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