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Researchers track impact of evidence-based treatment for STEMI

Kathleen Blanchard's picture

In an analysis of data from the Register of Information and Knowledge about Swedish Heart Intensive Care Admission, researchers found a gradual increase in adoption of interventions and pharmacologic treatments that correlate with fewer deaths and complications for patients experiencing heart attack known as STEMI, or ST elevation myocardial infarction.

Instituting STEMI guidelines correlates with decreased mortality

Research provides guidelines for best practice when it comes to patient treatment, but it takes time to implement interventions. A new study confirms putting evidence-based treatments into practice saves heart patients lives.

Over a period of 15 years, the study authors say several new treatments have been found to save lives for patient with STEMI, but documentation about time to implementation and patient survival rates has been lacking, explain the study authors.

Tomas Jernberg, M.D., Ph.D., of Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden, and colleagues analyzed the data, among 61,238 patients, comparing outcomes nationwide, for first time STEMI patients receiving recommended drugs and procedures versus those treated with different medications.

They found use of medications like aspirin and clopidrogel that prevent blood clots, statins, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors and ARB’s slowly increased between 1996 and 2007. Accompanying increased use of the treatments were fewer patient complications.

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The rate of recurrent heart attack in the hospital fell from four percent to one percent. Thirty-day mortality rates also steadily declined.

The authors write, “From 1996 to 2007, the 30-day mortality has been more than halved with an absolute reduction of almost 8 percent. The improvements in survival tended to be greater in the latter part of this 12-year period.”

Improved survival and fewer complications was also noted with more angioplasties being performed and as the use of “clot-busting” drugs known as thrombolytics increased.

The total gain, say the researchers is 2.7 more years of survival for heart attack patients who experience STEMI in 2007, compared to 1996.

The findings, published in JAMA, show implementing evidence-based treatments that has occurred over time, saves heart patient’s lives. Mortality at 30 days and one year decreased, shown in the 12-year analysis.

JAMA. 2011;305(16):1677-1684.doi:10.1001/jama.2011.522
.“Association Between Adoption of Evidence-Based Treatment and
Survival for Patients With ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction”
Tomas Jernber et al

Image credit: Wikimedia commons