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No study has described the burden to a health service of the complete spectrum of possible acute coronary syndromes (ACS). The objective of this study was to describe the changing burden of suspected ACS on the hospital sector of the National Health Service in Scotland over the period 1990–2000.
The record linkage system for discharges from Scottish hospitals and deaths has been described previously.1 We identified all emergency hospitalisations of patients ⩾ 18 years old in Scotland between January 1990 and December 2000 where acute myocardial infarction (AMI; International classification of diseases, (ICD), ninth revision, code 410, ICD-10 I21, 22), angina (ICD-9 411, 413, ICD-10 I20, I249), or chest pain (ICD-9 786.5, ICD-10 R07) was coded as the principal diagnosis on discharge. Numbers and age and sex specific rates of discharges (and patients discharged), length of stay, revascularisation procedures, and deaths were studied. We used linear regression to examine trends in population hospitalisation rates, hospitalisation numbers, and …