Background: The number of elderly patients experiencing acute myocardial infarction (AMI) is growing rapidly, and their hospital mortality rate remains high, although mortality after AMI declined in the 1990s with the introduction of new therapeutic modalities. Methods and Results: We compared the management, in-hospital complications, and 30-day and 1-year mortality rates in two cohorts of elderly (≤75 years of age) AMI patients in the coronary care units in Israel before and after the reperfusion era. The first cohort of 789 consecutive patients was from the Secondary Prevention Reinfarction Israel Nifedipine Trial registry in 1981-1983; the second 366 patients came from two prospective nationwide surveys in 1992 and 1994. Reperfusion therapies were not used in 1981-1983 but were used in 1992-1994. The 30-day mortality rate declined from 38% in 1981-1983 to 27% in 1992-1994 (odds ratio, 0.49; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.34 to 0.71), and the cumulative 1-year mortality rate declined from 52% to 38% (hazard ratio [HR], 0.62; 95% CI, 0.50 to 0.76). In the 1992-1994 cohort, the decline in mortality was most marked in patients reperfused by thrombolysis and/or percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty or coronary artery by pass graft surgery but was also evident in nonreperfused patients: cumulative 1- year mortality rate was 29% in the former (HR, 0.45; 95% CI, 0.31 to 0.67) and 42% in the latter (HR, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.46 to 0.78). Conclusions: During the last decade, elderly (≤75 years) AMI patients experienced fewer in hospital complications and lower 30-day and 1-year mortality rates, which declined ≃30%, most markedly in reperfused patterns. The favorable outcome in 1992-1994 was related to changes in patient management. Reperfusion therapy is therefore also advocated in elderly AMI patients, unless specific contraindications are present.
- myocardial infarction