Delay and inequality in treatment of the elderly with suspected acute coronary syndrome.
Int J Cardiol. 2014 Aug 26;
Authors: Libungan B, Karlsson T, Hirlekar G, Albertsson P, Herlitz J, Ravn-Fischer A
BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study is to determine differences between elderly patients (≥80years) and younger patients with suspected acute coronary syndrome (ACS) regarding delay times before diagnostic tests and treatments.
METHODS: All patients with chest pain who were admitted to a hospital in the Gothenburg area were included consecutively over a 3-month period. They were divided into an elderly group (≥80years) and a reference group (<80years). Previous medical history, ECG findings, treatments, diagnostic tests, and delay times were registered.
RESULTS: Altogether, 2588 patients were included (478 elderly and 2110 reference). There were no significant differences in delay time to hospital ward admission, to first medical therapy with aspirin, or to investigation with coronary angiography (CA) between the two groups. The elderly patients had a significantly shorter median time from first medical contact to first ECG (12 vs. 14min, p=0.002) but after adjustment for confounding factors, especially mode of transport, the opposite was found to be the case (p=0.002). Elderly hospitalized patients with ACS were less often investigated with CA (44% vs. 89%, p<0.0001) and received less medical treatment with P2Y12 antagonists and lipid lowering drugs.
CONCLUSIONS: Elderly individuals with chest pain could not be shown to have a delay to hospital admission compared to their younger counterparts. Nevertheless, higher age was associated with a longer time to first ECG. The elderly patients received less active therapy, and fear of age-related side effects might explain this difference.
PMID: 25189499 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]