Patient Care

Mortality Risk in Patients Older than 75 Presenting with Non-ST-Elevation Acute Coronary Syndrome


Clinical question: Is there a score that will predict the mortality rate in elderly patients presenting with a non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI)?

Background: Although they represent only 9% of patients in clinical trials, patients over the age of 75 make up one third of patients with NSTEMI, accounting for more than half of NSTEMI-related mortality.

Study design: Retrospective cohort analysis for score calculator design, with prospective cohort validation.

Setting: The retrospective cohort was derived from a meta-analysis of 55 papers. The prospective validation arm used a cohort of patients from a randomized multicenter Italian trial.

Synopsis: The authors developed and validated a mortality predictor for patients 75 and older who present with an NSTEMI. The calculator: hemoglobin less than 10 g/dl (two points), elevated troponin levels, ECG ischemic changes, estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) less than 45, previous vascular event (one point each two). The calculator predicted probabilities of death in one year ranging from 2% (score of zero) to 75% (score of six). The calculator allowed stratification into low (score: zero to one), intermediate (score: two), or high (score: three or greater) risk. High-risk patients appeared to benefit from intervention with significantly reduced risk for mortality (odds ratio 0.44).

Bottom line: A simple risk calculator stratifies elderly patients into low, intermediate, or high risk to predict mortality from NSTEMI. High-risk patients appear to achieve a mortality benefit from intervention.

Citation: Angeli F, Cavallini C, Verdecchia P, et al. A risk score for predicting 1-year mortality in patients ≥75 years of age presenting with non-ST-elevation acute coronary syndrome. Am J Cardiol. 2015;116(2):208-213.

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