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Vigen R, Spertus JA, Maddox TM, Ho PM, Jones PG, Arnold SV, Masoudi FA, Bradley SM. Hospital-level variation in angina and mortality at 1 year after myocardial infarction: insights from the Translational Research Investigating Underlying Disparities in Acute Myocardial Infarction Patients' Health Status (TRIUMPH) Registry. Circulation. Cardiovascular quality and outcomes. 2014 Nov 11; 7(6):851-6.
BACKGROUND: Despite calls to expand measurement of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) outcomes to include symptom burden, little has been done to describe hospital-level variation in this patient-centered outcome, or its association with mortality. Understanding the relationship between symptoms and longer-term mortality could inform the importance of these outcomes for monitoring quality of care. METHODS AND RESULTS: Among 4316 patients with AMI treated at 24 hospitals participating in the Translational Research Investigating Underlying Disparities in Acute Myocardial Infarction Patients' Health Status (TRIUMPH) study, we assessed risk-standardized 1-year symptom burden as measured by the Seattle Angina Questionnaire Angina Frequency Score and mortality attributed to the hospital that provided AMI care. Median odds ratios were used to assess outcome variation and reflect the relative odds of an outcome for 2 patients with identical covariates at different, randomly selected, hospitals. We then evaluated the correlation between hospital-level mortality and angina. Finally, we determined the extent to which variation in mortality and angina was explained by achievement of AMI performance measures. We observed hospital variation in risk-adjusted 1-year mortality (range, 4.9%-8.6%; median odds ratio, 1.30; P = 0.01) and angina (range, 17.7%-29.4%; median odds ratio, 1.34; P < 0.001). At the hospital level, mortality and angina at 1 year were weakly correlated (r = 0.40; 95% confidence interval, 0.00-0.68; P = 0.05). Accounting for the quality of AMI care did not attenuate variation in risk-adjusted 1-year mortality or angina. CONCLUSIONS: Symptom burden and mortality vary at the hospital level after AMI and are only weakly correlated. These findings suggest that symptom burden should be considered a separate quality domain that is not well captured by current quality metrics.