Temporal Trends and Patient Characteristics Associated with 30-Day Hospital Readmission Rates after a First Acute Myocardial Infarction



      Limited data exist about relatively recent trends in the magnitude and characteristics of patients who are re-hospitalized after hospital admission for an acute myocardial infarction. This study examined trends in the frequency and sociodemographic and clinical characteristics of patients readmitted to the hospital within 30 days after an initial acute myocardial infarction.


      We reviewed the medical records of 3116 individuals who were hospitalized for a validated first acute myocardial infarction in 6 study periods between 2003 and 2015 at the 3 major medical centers in central Massachusetts.


      The median age of our population was 67 years, and 42% were women. The risk of being readmitted to the hospital within 30 days after an initial acute myocardial infarction increased slightly during the most recent study years after controlling for potentially confounding factors. Overall, older adults and patients with previously diagnosed atrial fibrillation, heart failure, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease were at higher risk for being readmitted to the hospital than respective comparison groups. For those hospitalized in the most recent study years of 2011/2015, a higher risk of rehospitalization was associated with a previous diagnosis of chronic kidney disease, peripheral vascular disease, the presence of 3 or more chronic conditions, and having developed atrial fibrillation or heart failure during the patient's hospitalization for a first acute myocardial infarction.


      We identified several groups at higher risk for hospital readmission in whom enhanced surveillance efforts as well as tailored educational and treatment approaches remain needed.


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