Background Elderly patients are underrepresented in acute myocardial infarction trials. Our aim was to determine whether, in elderly patients, changes in management in the past 15 years are associated with improved 1-year mortality after hospital admission for myocardial infarction. Methods We used data from 4 1-month French registries, conducted 5 years apart from 1995 to 2010, including 3389 elderly patients (≥75 years of age). Results From 1995 to 2010, mean age remained stable (82.1 years), similar in ST- and non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction patients. Obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia increased. History of prior myocardial infarction, stroke, and peripheral artery disease remained stable, while history of heart failure decreased. Major changes in management were noted: early percutaneous coronary intervention, early treatment with antiplatelet agents, low-molecular-weight heparin, beta-blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor or angiotensin receptor blocker, and statins all increased. Early mortality after hospital admission decreased from 25.0% to 8.4%. One-year mortality decreased from 36.2% to 20.0% (adjusted hazard ratio 2010 vs 1995: 0.47, 0.39-0.57), both for ST-elevation myocardial infarction (36.8% to 21.1%) and non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction (34.8% to 19.1%). Mortality reduction was observed in all age groups, including those ≥85 years of age (from 46.2% to 31.4%). The study period, however, was no longer associated with decreased mortality when variables reflecting management changes were taken into account. Conclusions Early and 1-year mortality after hospital admission of elderly patients with acute myocardial infarction has substantially decreased over the past 15 years. This improvement is likely mediated by increasing use of recommended management strategies. These data support the application of guidelines derived from trials mostly including younger patients to elderly populations as well.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes