CARDIOVASCULAR disease ranks as the leading cause of disability and death in the elderly. Although those 65 years of age or older constitute only 13% of the US population,1 80% of all deaths due to acute myocardial infarction (MI) occur in those over the age of 65 years. Of these, 60% occur in patients 75 years of age or older.2 The in-hospital case-fatality rate for initial acute MI increases from 5% in those less than 55 years of age to 32% in those older than age 75.3 Patient age at the time of onset of acute MI also affects survival after hospital discharge.4 For example, results of the Worcester Heart Attack Study indicate a 94% 1-year survival rate among patients with acute MI who are less than 55 years of age and are discharged alive from the hospital, compared with only 77% for those 75 years
Gurwitz JH, Goldberg RJ, Gore JM. Coronary Thrombolysis for the Elderly? JAMA. 1991;265(13):1720–1723. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03460130112032
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