Sex-specific differences regarding seasonal variations of incidence and mortality in patients with myocardial infarction in Germany

Karsten Keller, Lukas Hobohm, Thomas Münzel, Mir Abolfazl Ostad
International Journal of Cardiology 2019 April 11

BACKGROUND: Seasonal variation regarding the incidence and the short-term mortality of acute myocardial infarction (MI) was frequently reported, but data about sex-specific differences are sparse.

METHODS: We analysed the impact of seasons and temperature on incidence and in-hospital mortality of patients with acute MI in Germany between 2005 and 2015.

RESULTS: The nationwide sample comprised 3,008,188 hospitalizations of MI patients (2005-2015). The incidence was 334.7/100,000 citizens/year. Incidence inclined from 316.3 to 341.6/100,000 citizens/year (β 0.17 [0.10 to 0.24], P < 0.001), while in-hospital mortality rate decreased from 14.1% to 11.3% (β -0.29 [-0.30 to -0.28], P < 0.001). Overall, 377,028 (12.5%) patients died in-hospital. Seasonal variation of both incidence and in-hospital mortality was of substantial magnitude. Seasonal incidence (86.1 vs. 79.0/100,000 citizens/year, P < 0.001) and in-hospital mortality (13.2% vs. 12.1%, P < 0.001) were higher in winter than in summer. Risk to die in winter was elevated (OR 1.080 (95% CI 1.069-1.091), P < 0.001) compared to summer season independently of sex, age and comorbidities. Reperfusion treatment with drug eluting stents and coronary artery bypass graft were more often used in summer. We observed sex-specific differences regarding the seasonal variation of in-hospital mortality: males showed lowest mortality in summer, while females during fall. Low temperature dependency of mortality seems more pronounced in males.

CONCLUSION: Incidence of acute MI increased 2005-2015, while in-hospital mortality rate decreased. Seasonal variation of incidence and in-hospital mortality were of substantial magnitude with lowest incidence and lowest mortality in the summer season. Additionally, we observed sex-specific differences regarding the seasonal variation of the in-hospital mortality.

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