BACKGROUND: The purpose of the study was to examine overall differences and temporal trends therein between men and women regarding the incidence rates, in-hospital and long-term survival after initial acute myocardial infarction (AMI), and out-of-hospital deaths caused by coronary disease.
METHODS AND RESULTS: This nonconcurrent prospective study was carried out in 16 teaching and community hospitals in Worcester, Mass., in six time periods between 1975 and 1988. A total of 3,148 patients hospitalized with validated initial AMI comprised the study sample. The age-adjusted incidence rates of initial AMI increased between 1975 and 1981 in the two sexes, with a marked decrease thereafter; these rates declined by 26% in men and by 22% in women between 1975 and 1988. The overall unadjusted in-hospital case-fatality rates after initial AMI were significantly higher in women (21.7%) than in men (12.7%). Age- and multivariable-adjusted in-hospital case-fatality rates, however, were not significantly different for men compared with women (multivariate-adjusted OR, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.70, 1.16). No clear trends in in-hospital case-fatality rates were observed in men or women over the periods under study. There were no significant sex differences in the age-adjusted long-term survival rates of discharged hospital survivors of AMI. The multivariate-adjusted risk of total mortality among discharged hospital survivors, however, was significantly increased in men (multivariate-adjusted OR, 1.20; 95% CI, 1.03, 1.39); neither of the sexes experienced an improvement over time in long-term prognosis. The incidence rates of out-of-hospital deaths caused by coronary disease declined by 60% in men and 69% in women between 1975 and 1988.
CONCLUSIONS: The results of this multihospital, community-based study suggest declines in the incidence rates of AMI and out-of-hospital deaths caused by coronary disease in men and women over the period under study (1975-1988). No significant sex differences in in-hospital survival were observed, whereas a poorer long-term survival experience after hospital discharge was observed for men compared with women after controlling for potentially confounding prognostic factors.
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