JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Recent decline in hospital mortality among patients with acute myocardial infarction.

BACKGROUND: Many patients with acute myocardial infarction will still die after admission. Recent trends in hospital mortality were analyzed to identify aspects that need improvement.

METHODS AND RESULTS: A total of 1,247 patients admitted to Kinki University School of Medicine within 24 h of the onset of infarction were analyzed between 1975 and 2001. The percentage of patients discharged with 100% occlusion decreased gradually from 31.3% during 1975-1982 to 2.1% during 1998-2001, while those with 50% stenosis or less gradually increased from 12.5% to 82.5% during the same period (trends: p < 0.01). The cardiac death rate was 17.1% in 1975-1982, and 7.7% in 1998-2001, showing a significant decrease with time (p < 0.01). This decrease was particularly marked among those admitted within 6 h of the onset of infarction. Death due to cardiac rupture decreased significantly with time (p < 0.001). In contrast, the non-cardiac death rate, amounting to 2.2% on average, did not decline.

CONCLUSIONS: Cardiac deaths due to acute myocardial infarction have decreased markedly of late. However, patients must be admitted within 6 h of the onset of infarction to benefit from this improvement. More effort should be made to improve the general care of patients in order to reduce the incidence of non-cardiac death.

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