The time from onset of symptoms to arrival in the hospital emergency room (ER) was studied in 778 patients randomized into a study of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) size limitation. Patients at relatively high risk of death after AMI (including those with preexisting diabetes mellitus, systemic hypertension or congestive heart failure), women and older patients arrived significantly later in the ER than did patients without these characteristics. A significantly higher mortality rate was observed in patients who arrived late, i.e., those who arrived more than 2 hours after the onset of chest pain, even though patients with hemodynamic compromise (bradycardia, hypotension) tended to arrive earlier. The difference in long-term mortality between those who arrived early (within 2 hours of onset of chest pain) and those who arrived late was accounted for by the baseline differences between these 2 groups. These baseline differences may influence the effects of early interventions in AMI. In addition, these findings have implications for education of high-risk patients who could benefit the most from aggressive early intervention.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine