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F Lateef, AB Storrow, BW Gibler, T Liu
Correspondence: Dr F Lateef, firstname.lastname@example.org
Objectives To compare the 30-day cardiac event rate between patients aged at least 60 years (geriatric group) with those younger than 60 (younger group), who were enrolled in an Emergency department-based chest pain centre management protocol.
Methodology This was a retrospective, cohort study done at the Centre for Emergency Care at the University of Cincinnati, from 1 Oct 1991 to 31 March 1999 (from Oct 1991 to Dec 1998: 9-hour protocol in use; from Jan 1999 to March 1999: 6-hour protocol in use). Patients, at least 25 years, with the chief complaint of non-traumatic chest pain were eligible for management in the unit. Exclusion criteria included acute ST-elevation or depression > 1 mm in 2 contiguous leads, haemodynamic instability or clinical syndrome consistent with unstable angina. Outcomes studied were disposition and cardiac events at 30-days (defined as acute myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, ventricular fibrillation / tachycardia arrest, coronary artery bypass surgery or percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty). The protocol was the standard of care and enrolled patients underwent continuous ECG and ST-segment trend monitoring, serial CK-MB draws at 0, 3, 6 and 9 hours, followed by either a graded exercise stress test or a sestamibi myocardial perfusion scan (from Oct 1998). With the 6-hour protocol the 9-hour draws were omitted and the GXTdone 3 hours earlier.
Results A total of 2491 patients were enrolled; 304 (12.2%) in the geriatric age-group. The mean age was 66.8+/-5.9 and 41.3+/-8.6 years respectively. There were 133 (43.8%) female patients in the geriatric group and 1170 (53.5%) in the younger group. There were no statistically significant differences between the groups in terms of prevalence of risk factors, but there was significant (p < 0.001) and ECG changes from the baseline (p = 0.0015). The geriatric patients were also not different from the younger ones in terms of GXT positive for ischaemia (10, 5.3% vs 42, 2.7%; p = 0.124), admission rates (61, 20.1% vs 321, 14.7%; p = 0.312), coronary care unit admissions (8, 2.6% vs 63, 2.9%; p = 0.418 and 30-day complication rate (10, 3.6% vs 46, 2.4%; p = 0.303).
Conclusion The ED-based chest pain unit represents an effective way for the risk-stratification and management of both geriatric and young patients with low-to-moderate risk of acute coronary events.
Keywords: geriatric patients, chest pain, coronary events
Singapore Med J 2001; 42(6): 259-263