Intermittent ST depression and mortality after myocardial infarction.
BACKGROUND We conducted a case-control analysis to determine the contribution made to mortality by intermittent ST depression (STD) among patients enrolled in the already completed Beta Blocker Heart Attack Trial.
METHODS AND RESULTS STD was determined by computer analysis of 24-hour ECG tapes as a change in ST level by +/- 0.1 mV or more from the median value of ST of all normally conducted complexes for greater than or equal to 1 minute. All computer-detected ST events were verified by trained readers. To estimate risk of dying associated with STD, 261 deaths were compared with controls matched for age, sex, drug status, and time elapsed since acute myocardial infarction. In a model including relevant covariates, STD had a relative risk (RR) of 1.73 (95% confidence interval, 1.09-2.73). The RR was 2.56 (1.39-4.71) in untreated patients and 0.98 (0.48-2.00) in propranolol-treated patients. A history of angina, although not independently significant, was found to enhance these RRs. A gradient of risk was shown in the placebo group by a RR of 1.91 in those with 1-30 minutes of STD and 4.33 in those with greater than 30 of STD (p = 0.001, trend test).
CONCLUSIONS The findings in this large study show a significant contribution to mortality among untreated early post-myocardial infarction survivors from transient STD on 24-hour monitoring. The absence or reduction of effect in the treated group also suggests an anti-ischemic mechanism by which propranolol exerts a protective effect on mortality. Trials to determine whether reduction of STD improves survival would be warranted.
- Copyright © 1992 by American Heart Association