Objective: To determine whether acute risk factors (ARF) and chronic risk factors (CRF) contribute differently to the use of evidence-based treatments (EBT) for patients with acute coronary syndromes (ACS).
Design: Data were collected through a prospective audit of patients with ACS. Management was analysed by the presence of acute myocardial risk factors and chronic comorbid risk factors at presentation.
Setting: 39 hospitals across Australia.
Patients: 2599 adults presenting with ACS.
Main outcome measures: Use of EBT, in-hospital and 12-month death, recurrent myocardial infarction and bleeding.
Results: The number of ARF and CRF at presentation predicted in-hospital and 12-month death, recurrent myocardial infarction and bleeding. Patients with higher numbers of ARF were more likely to receive EBT (aspirin at presentation, 81.1% for zero ARF to 85.7% for ⩾3 ARF, p<0.001; angiography 45.9% to 67.5%, p<0.001; reperfusion for ST elevation 50% to 70%, p = 0.392; β blocker at discharge 66.5% to 74.4%, p<0.001). Patients with higher numbers of CRF were less likely to receive EBT (aspirin at presentation 90.4% for zero CRF to 68.8% for ⩾4 CRF, p<0.001; angiography 78.8% to 24.7%, p<0.001; reperfusion for ST elevation 73.4% to 30%; p<0.001, β blocker at discharge 75.2% to 55.6%; p<0.001). In multivariate regression analysis, ARF and CRF were the strongest predictors of receiving or failing to receive EBT, respectively.
Conclusions: Patients presenting with many ARF are more likely to receive EBT, while patients presenting with many CRF are less likely to receive them. This has important implications for future quality-improvement efforts.
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Funding This work was in part supported by a grant from the Hubert-Yeargan Center for Global Health at Duke University Medical Center, Boston, USA.
Competing interests AS is an employee of Sanofi-Aventis, Australia.
Ethics approval Approval from the ethics committees of all participating hospitals (see appendix).