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Original research article
Treatment choices in elderly patients with ST: elevation myocardial infarction—insights from the Vital Heart Response registry
  1. Olga Toleva1,
  2. Quazi Ibrahim1,
  3. Neil Brass2,
  4. Sunil Sookram1 and
  5. Robert Welsh1,3
  1. 1University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  2. 2Royal Alexandra Hospital and CK Hui Heart Centre, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  3. 3Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Robert Welsh; Robert.Welsh{at}


Background Management of elderly patients with ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) is challenging and they are under-represented in trials. Accordingly, we analysed reperfusion strategies and their effectiveness in patients with STEMI ≥75 years compared to <75 years within a comprehensive inclusive registry.

Methods Consecutive patients with STEMI admitted to hospital and tracked within a regional registry (2006–2011) were analysed comparing reperfusion strategy (primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PPCI), fibrinolysis and no reperfusion) between patients ≥75 vs <75 years old as well as across the reperfusion strategies in those ≥75 years.

Results There were 3588 patients with STEMI with 646 (18%) ≥75 years old. Elderly patients were more likely female (46.9% vs 18.4%) and had more prior: angina (28.2% vs 17.2%), myocardial infarction (MI; 22.8% vs 13.9%), hypertension (67.6% vs 44.2%), heart failure (2.3% vs 0.3%) and atrial fibrillation (2.2% vs 0.5%) (all p<0.001). The reperfusion strategy for patients ≥75 vs <75: PPCI 45.3% vs 41.2%, fibrinolysis 24.8% vs 45.7%, and no reperfusion 29.9% vs 13.1% (p<0.001). Time from symptoms to first medical contact (median, 93 vs 78 min p=0.008) and PPCI (median, 166 vs 136 min (p<0.001) were longer for ≥75 years. In those ≥75 years outcomes by reperfusion (PPCI, fibrinolysis and none) were: in-hospital death 13.3%, 9.4% and 19.7% (p=0.018), and composite of death, recurrent-MI, cardiogenic shock and congestive heart failure 28%, 20% and 33.2% (p=0.022).

Conclusions Elderly patients have more comorbidities, worst in-hospital clinical outcomes and are less likely to receive reperfusion. Acknowledging physician selection of the reperfusion strategy; outcomes appear favourable in the elderly receiving fibrinolysis.

This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:

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