OBJECTIVE: Individual-based studies on restricted geographical settings have suggested that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may precipitate congestive heart failure. As NSAID use is very extensive, it might increase the occurrence of symptomatic heart failure in the general population. Therefore, in order to study the impact of NSAID utilisation (prescribed and over the counter) on hospitalised heart failure in an entire country (Sweden), we performed an ecological analysis, a design appropriate for studying large geographical areas. METHODS: We employed weighted (population size) ecological linear regression to study the association between outpatient utilisation of NSAIDs during 1989-1993 and hospitalised heart failure in 1993 in 283 of Sweden's 288 municipalities. Data were adjusted for age and gender proportions, socio-economic factors, latitude and utilisation of cardiovascular drugs, aspirin, low-dose aspirin and paracetamol. RESULTS: The unadjusted relative risk of hospitalised heart failure for each increase of one standard deviation of NSAID utilisation (5.8 defined daily doses/1000 inhabitants/day) was 1.23 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.18, 1.27]. After adjustments, the relative risk was 1.08 (95% CI 1.04, 1.12); the corresponding values if aspirin (non-low-dose) was included as an NSAID were 1.26 (95% CI 1.23, 1.28) and 1.07 (95% CI 1.04, 1.10). There was no such adjusted association with the utilisation of paracetamol-0.95 (95% CI 0.92, 0.98). CONCLUSION: The NSAID--heart failure association already established by individual-based studies on restricted geographical settings was corroborated in the present ecological study based on the whole population of an entire country (Sweden). Efforts should be made to promote a rational use of NSAIDs in the general population.
OBJECTIVES. Changes in the electrical activity of the heart reflecting the infarct process can be recorded by continuous vector-ECG, a method which is now clinically available for cardiac supervision. Shifts of the ST-segment and QRS-vector reflect ischaemia and necrosis of the myocardium. Continuous vector-ECG changes were evaluated against myocardial scintigraphy in 18 patients with acute myocardial infarction treated with streptokinase in order to study the impact of improved myocardial perfusion. DESIGN. Myocardial perfusion was analysed with 99Tcm-Sestamibi (Cardiolite, DuPont Scandinavia AB, Kista, Sweden) single photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT). Registrations were performed before and after thrombolysis in order to estimate the amount of myocardium with impaired perfusion initially (threatened myocardium) and the degree of perfusion improvement in this myocardial area. X, Y, Z vectors were registered continuously by Frank leads (Ortivus Medical, Täby, Sweden). QRS-vector difference, and the time to plateau phase and the ST-vector magnitude were used as a measurement of ischaemia and size of the myocardial infarction. RESULTS. In seven out of 11 patients treated within 3 h of onset of symptoms, an improvement in myocardial perfusion in the initially hypoperfused areas was achieved in contrast to none of the seven patients treated > 3 h after onset of pain (P
We estimated the cost effectiveness of adding the ACE inhibitor ramipril to conventional treatment in patients with heart failure after acute myocardial infarction. These estimates were based on the Acute Infarction Ramipril Efficacy (AIRE) study and on complementary Swedish healthcare resource use data for a subset of patients. The average follow-up period was 15 months (minimum 6 months, maximum 3.8 years). The perspective of the analysis was that of the county councils (third-party payers), and we focused on the cost of drugs and hospitalisation. The marginal cost effectiveness of the treatment was estimated over 3 treatment periods: 1, 2 and 3.8 years. The cost-effectiveness ratios varied between SEK14,148 and SEK33,033 per life-year gained ($US1 = SEK7.70. Pounds 1 = SEK12.40) for the 3 treatment periods. Adding ramipril to conventional treatment for heart failure after acute myocardial infarction is therefore cost effective, and compares favourably with the cost effectiveness of other common medical therapies in the cardiovascular field.
A study was conducted in Sweden in 1989-1992 to evaluate differences in quality of life (QL) in consecutive male and female patients after acute myocardial infarction (AMI), coronary artery by-pass grafting (CABG) and percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA). Somatic and psychological dimensions of QL were assessed by self-administered questionnaire in patients one month (n = 376) and one year (n = 349) after the cardiac event. Normal controls (n = 88) were used for comparison. Differences between gender groups, as well as between study patients and controls in somatic and psychological dimensions of QL were studied. Patients were shown to experience poorer QL when compared with demographically similar controls, especially at the one-month assessment. Female patients had poorer QL after one month (in general health, feeling of arrythmia, anxiety, depression, self-esteem, experience of sex life) and after one year (general health, anxiety, depression) compared with male patients. In all dimensions of QL a proportion of patients (19-45%) experienced a decrease in QL from the one-month to the one-year assessment occasion. Healthcare workers concerned with secondary prevention must be aware that QL differs between male and female patients in several dimensions after a cardiac event. These findings should be taken into account in the clinical management of patients, particularly for female patients who may need special attention.
OBJECTIVE: To describe factors associated with the development of stroke during long-term follow-up after acute myocardial infarction (AMI) in the LoWASA trial. PATIENTS: Patients who had been hospitalized for AMI were randomized within 42 days to receive either warfarin 1.25 mg plus aspirin 75 mg daily or aspirin 75 mg alone. DESIGN: The study was performed according to the probe design, that is open treatment and blinded end-point evaluation. SETTING: The study was performed in 31 hospitals in Sweden. The mean follow-up time was 5.0 years with a range of 1.7-6.7 years. RESULTS: In all, 3300 patients were randomized in the trial, of which 194 (5.9%) developed stroke (4.2% nonhaemorrhagic, 0.5% haemorrhagic and 1.3% uncertain. The following factors appeared as independent predictors for an increased risk of stroke: age, hazard ratio and 95% confidence interval (1.07; 1.05-1.08), a history of diabetes mellitus (2.4; 1.8-3.4), a history of stroke (2.3; 1.5-3.5), a history of hypertension (2.0; 1.5-2.7) and a history of smoking (1.5;1.1-2.0). Most of these factors were also predictors of a nonhaemorrhagic stroke whereas no predictor of haemorrhagic stroke was found. CONCLUSION: Risk indicators for stroke long-term after AMI were increasing age, a history of either diabetes mellitus, stroke, hypertension or smoking.
This study presents the outcome of myocardial scintigraphy performed before and after thrombolytic treatment in 16 patients with acute myocardial infarction using 99Tcm-Sestamibi (Cardiolite, Du Pont Scandinavia AB, Kista, Sweden). The patients were given 99Tcm-Sestamibi intravenously as soon as possible after the decision to give thrombolytic treatment. When the patients were in a clinically stable state after the thrombolytic treatment, myocardial perfusion was analysed with the gamma camera using single photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT). A second 99Tcm-Sestamibi tomography was carried out on the second to fourth day after the myocardial infarction. Data reconstruction was done with the 'Bull's eye technique'. Nine patients received thrombolysis 10% after treatment, while all seven patients who received treatment > or = 3 h after the onset of pain improved their myocardial perfusion by
OBJECTIVE: We have investigated whether perceived quality of life has an impact on long-term survival after a cardiac event. DESIGN: Male (n = 316) and female (n = 97) patients were assessed by means of a self-administered quality of life questionnaire 1 year after either acute myocardial infarction (n = 296), coronary artery bypass grafting surgery (n = 99) or percutaneous coronary intervention (n = 18). Inclusion period was 1989-1991. Ten years after the last patient answered the 1-year questionnaire, mortality (status factor) up to census date was analysed using nine dimensions of quality of life as covariates (Cox regression). RESULTS: At 1-year assessment, subjective general health (RR = 3.15), perceived arrhythmia (RR = 1.72), experience of sex life (RR = 1.55), perceived breathlessness (RR = 1.50) and experience of self-esteem (RR = 1.48) were all significantly related to death within the period up to census date. CONCLUSION: The findings highlight that the patients' own experience of his or her quality of life, has a prognostic importance for long-term mortality after a cardiac event. Clinicians should be aware that a careful monitoring of perceived quality of life is an important part of good patient care.