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Open Access Research article

Changes in treatment and mortality of acute myocardial infarction in Estonian tertiary and secondary care hospitals in 2001 and 2007

Mai Blöndal12*, Tiia Ainla13, Toomas Marandi34, Aleksei Baburin5 and Jaan Eha12

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Cardiology, University of Tartu, L. Puusepa 8, 51014 Tartu, Estonia

2 Heart Clinic, Tartu University Hospital, L. Puusepa 8, 51014 Tartu, Estonia

3 Centre of Cardiology, North Estonia Medical Centre Foundation, J. Sütiste tee 19, 13419 Tallinn, Estonia

4 Quality Department, North Estonia Medical Centre Foundation, J. Sütiste tee 19, 13419 Tallinn, Estonia

5 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, National Institute for Health Development, Hiiu 42, 11619 Tallinn, Estonia

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BMC Research Notes 2012, 5:71  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-71

Published: 26 January 2012



High quality care for acute myocardial infarction (AMI) improves patient outcomes. Still, AMI patients are treated in hospitals with unequal access to percutaneous coronary intervention. The study compares changes in treatment and 30-day and 3-year mortality of AMI patients hospitalized into tertiary and secondary care hospitals in Estonia in 2001 and 2007.


Final analysis included 423 cases in 2001 (210 from tertiary and 213 from secondary care hospitals) and 687 cases in 2007 (327 from tertiary and 360 from secondary care hospitals). The study sample in 2007 was older and had twice more often diabetes mellitus. The patients in the tertiary care hospitals underwent reperfusion for ST-elevation myocardial infarction, cardiac catheterization and revascularisation up to twice as often in 2007 as in 2001. In the secondary care, patient transfer for further invasive treatment into tertiary care hospitals increased (P < 0.001). Prescription rates of evidence-based medications for in-hospital and for outpatient use were higher in 2007 in both types of hospitals. However, better treatment did not improve significantly the short- and long-term mortality within a hospital type in crude and baseline-adjusted analysis. Still, in 2007 a mortality gap between the two hospital types was observed (P < 0.010).


AMI treatment improved in both types of hospitals, while the improvement was more pronounced in tertiary care. Still, better treatment did not result in a significantly lower mortality. Higher age and cardiovascular risk are posing a challenge for AMI treatment.

Acute myocardial infarction; Treatment; Revascularisation; Mortality