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Twenty-Five-Year (1986-2011) Trends in the Incidence and Death Rates of Stroke Complicating Acute Myocardial Infarction

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The occurrence of a stroke after an acute myocardial infarction is associated with increased morbidity and mortality rates. However, limited data are available, particularly from a population-based perspective, about recent trends in the incidence and mortality rates associated with stroke complicating an acute myocardial infarction.

The purpose of this study was to examine 25-year trends (1986-2011) in the incidence and in-hospital mortality rates of initial episodes of stroke complicating acute myocardial infarction.


The study population consisted of 11,436 adults hospitalized with acute myocardial infarction at all 11 medical centers in central Massachusetts on a biennial basis between 1986 and 2011.


In this study cohort, 159 patients (1.4%) experienced an acute first-ever stroke during hospitalization for acute myocardial infarction. The proportion of patients with acute myocardial infarction who developed a stroke increased through the 1990s but decreased slightly thereafter. Compared with patients who did not experience a stroke, those who experienced a stroke were significantly older, were more likely to be female, had a previous acute myocardial infarction, had a significant burden of comorbidities, and were more likely to have died (32.1% vs 10.8%) during their index hospitalization. Patients who developed a first stroke in the most recent study years (2003-2011) were more likely to have died during hospitalization than those hospitalized during earlier study years.


Although the incidence rates of acute stroke complicating acute myocardial infarction remained relatively stable during the years under study, the in-hospital mortality rates of those experiencing a stroke have not decreased.

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-Essa Hariri, MD, Mayra Tisminetzky, MD, PhD, Darleen Lessard, MS, Jorge Yarzebski, MD, MPH, Joel Gore, MD, Robert Goldberg, PhD

This article originally appeared in the September issue of The American Journal of Medicine.

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