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Life Expectancy Affects Treatment for Acute MI

FRIDAY, June 13, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Evidence-based treatment for acute myocardial infarction is strongly influenced by the clinician's assessment of life expectancy of a patient, according to a study published online June 3 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality & Outcomes.

Dennis T. Ko, M.D., from the Institute of Clinical Evaluative Sciences in Toronto, and colleagues evaluated the extent to which treatment care gaps among patients hospitalized for myocardial infarction can be explained by a difference in projected life expectancy.

The researchers found that among the 7,001 acute myocardial infarction patients, 84.3 percent were prescribed statins and 72.9 percent were treated with reperfusion therapy. The likelihood of receiving either treatment declined when projected life expectancy was <10 years, and the declines were progressive with reduction in life expectancy (P < 0.001). For each year decline in projected life expectancy at the 25th percentile of projected life expectancies, the likelihood of receiving a statin decreased by 1.4 percent and the likelihood of receiving acute reperfusion therapy decreased by 2.6 percent.

"Treatment care gaps may reflect clinicians' synthesis about frailty and life-expectancy gains," the authors write.

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