Emergency Department Visits For Heart Attacks Decline 24 Percent

Data Reported at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine

May 14, 2015, 10:25 ET from Society for Academic Emergency Medicine

DES PLAINES, Ill., May 14, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Emergency department (ED) visits for ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI, the most serious form of heart attack) have been steadily declining, according to the first study of its kind, which was presented this week at the annual meeting of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine in San Diego.

The researchers, led by Michael J. Ward, MD, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine, NHLBI K12 scholar, Vanderbilt University, conducted a descriptive epidemiological analysis of STEMI visits to EDs between 2006 through 2011 using the Nationwide Emergency Department Sample data, which is the largest source of U.S. ED data. They included adult ED visits with a diagnosis of STEMI and calculated incidence rates for STEMI ED visits using U.S. census population data.

From 2006-2011, there was a mean of 258,106 STEMIs presenting to ERs per year, decreasing from 300,466 in 2006 to 227,343 in 2011, a decline of 24 percent.

Incidence of ED STEMI visits per 10,000 adults declined from 10.1 (95% CI 9.8, 10.8) in 2006 to 7.3 (95% CI 6.8,7.8) in 2011. The Midwest had the highest rate at 10.0 (95% CI 9.2, 10.8) and the West had the lowest with 6.6 (95% CI 6.1, 7.0). The incidence of STEMI decreased for all age groups (Figure 59) and regions during the study period.

"The reasons for the decline may include efforts to streamline angioplasty times by ED bypass, as well as greater use of effective treatments for cardiovascular disease," said Dr. Ward. "The study is significant because these estimates play an essential role in hospital resource allocation strategies."

The Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) is dedicated to the improvement of care of the acutely ill and injured patient by improving research and education. To achieve this mission, SAEM influences health policy through forums, publications, interorganizational collaboration, policy development, and consultation services for physicians, teachers, researchers, and students.  


SOURCE Society for Academic Emergency Medicine