The association between hospital volume and survival after acute myocardial infarction in elderly patients

The New England Journal of Medicine
D R ThiemannN R Powe

Abstract

Patients with chest pain thought to be due to acute coronary ischemia are typically taken by ambulance to the nearest hospital. The potential benefit of field triage directly to a hospital that treats a large number of patients with myocardial infarction is unknown. We conducted a retrospective cohort study of the relation between the number of Medicare patients with myocardial infarction that each hospital in the study treated (hospital volume) and long-term survival among 98,898 Medicare patients 65 years of age or older. We used proportional-hazards methods to adjust for clinical, demographic, and health-system-related variables, including the availability of invasive procedures, the specialty of the attending physician, and the area of residence of the patient (rural, urban, or metropolitan). The patients in the quartile admitted to hospitals with the lowest volume were 17 percent more likely to die within 30 days after admission than patients in the quartile admitted to hospitals with the highest volume (hazard ratio, 1.17; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.09 to 1.26; P<0.001), which resulted in 2.3 more deaths per 100 patients. The crude mortality rate at one year was 29.8 percent among the patients admitted to the lowes...Continue Reading

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