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Open Access Research article

Use of evidence-based pharmacotherapy after myocardial infarction in Estonia

Toomas Marandi12*, Aleksei Baburin34 and Tiia Ainla15

Author Affiliations

1 Centre of Cardiology, North Estonia Medical Centre Foundation, Tallinn, Estonia

2 Quality Department, North Estonia Medical Centre Foundation, Tallinn, Estonia

3 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, National Institute for Health Development; Estonian Centre for Excellence in Behavioural and Health Sciences Tallinn, Estonia

4 Tampere School of Public Health, University of Tampere, Finland

5 Department of Cardiology, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia

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BMC Public Health 2010, 10:358  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-358

Published: 23 June 2010

Abstract

Background

Mortality from cardiovascular disease in Estonia is among the highest in Europe. The reasons for this have not been clearly explained. Also, there are no studies available examining outpatient drug utilization patterns in patients who suffered from acute myocardial infarction (AMI) in Estonia. The objective of the present study was to examine drug utilization in different age and gender groups following AMI in Estonia.

Methods

Patients admitted to hospital with AMI (ICD code I21-I22) during the period of 01.01.2004-31.12.2005 and who survived more than 30 days were followed 365 days from the index episode. Data about reimbursed prescriptions of beta-blockers (BBs), angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors/angiotensin II receptor blockers (ACE/ARBs) and statins for these patients was obtained from the database of the Estonian Health Insurance Fund. Data were mainly analysed using frequency tables and, where appropriate, the Pearson's χ2 test, the Mann-Whitney U-test and the t-test were used. A logistic regression method was used to investigate the relationship between drug allocation and age and gender. We presented drug utilization data as defined daily dosages (DDD) per life day in four age groups and described proportions of different combinations used in men and women.

Results

Four thousand nine hundred patients were hospitalized due to AMI and 3854 of them (78.7%) were treated by BBs, ACE/ARBs and/or statins. Of the 4025 inpatients who survived more than 30 days, 3799 (94.4%) were treated at least by the one of drug groups studied. Median daily dosages differed significantly between men and women in the age group 60-79 years for BBs and ACE/ARBs, respectively. Various combinations of the drugs studied were not allocated in equal proportions for men and women, although the same combinations were the most frequently used for both genders. The logistic regression analysis adjusted to gender and age revealed that some combinations of drugs were not allocated similarly in different age and gender groups.

Conclusions

Most of the patients were prescribed at least one of commonly recommended drugs. Only 40% of them were treated by combinations of beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors/angiotensin II receptor blockers and statins, which is inconsistent with guideline recommendations in Estonia. Standards of training and quality programs in Estonia should be reviewed and updated aiming to improve an adherence to guidelines of management of acute myocardial infarction in all age and gender groups.