Three life years gained after reperfusion therapy in acute myocardial infarction: 25-30 years after a randomized controlled trial

Ron T. Van Domburg, Jeroen M. Hendriks, Otto Kamp, Peter Smits, Marije Van Melle, Lisanne Schenkeveld, Jeroen J. Bax, Maarten L. Simoons

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: Reperfusion therapy in acute myocardial infarction reduces infarct size and increases hospital survival. We investigated whether the benefit of reperfusion therapy for myocardial infarction was sustained long-term and assessed the gain in life expectancy by reperfusion therapy.Methods and results: We analysed the outcome of 533 patients (mean age 56 years, 82% men), who were randomized to either reperfusion therapy or conventional therapy during 1980-1985. Median follow up was 27 years (25-30 years). At follow up, 59 patients (22%) of the 269 patients allocated to reperfusion treatment and only 39 patients (15%) of the 264 conventionally treated patients were still alive (p = 0.02). The cumulative 10-, 15-, 20-, and 25-year survival rates were 69, 48, 37, and 24% after reperfusion therapy and 59, 38, 27, and 18% in the control group, respectively (p < 0.001). Life expectancy of the reperfusion group was 15.6 years vs. 12.5 years in the conventionally treated group (p < 0.02). Myocardial reinfarction and subsequent coronary interventions were more frequent after reperfusion therapy, particularly during the first year. In multivariable analysis, reperfusion therapy was an important independent predictor of lower mortality at long-term follow up. Other independent predictors of mortality were age, impaired left ventricular function, multivessel disease, infarct size, and inability to perform an exercise test at the time of discharge. Conclusion: These data confirm that the benefits of early reperfusion therapy for acute myocardial infarction are sustained throughout the lifetime of the patients. More than 3 life years were gained by reperfusion therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1316-1323
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Preventive Cardiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute myocardial infarction
  • life expectancy
  • reperfusion therapy


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