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BACKGROUND: Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide and in Switzerland. When applied, treatment guidelines for patients with acute ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) improve the clinical outcome and should eliminate treatment differences by sex and age for patients whose clinical situations are identical. In Switzerland, the rate at which STEMI patients receive revascularization may vary by patient and hospital characteristics. AIMS: To examine all hospitalizations in Switzerland from 2010-2011 to determine if patient or hospital characteristics affected the rate of revascularization (receiving either a percutaneous coronary intervention or a coronary artery bypass grafting) in acute STEMI patients. DATA AND METHODS: We used national data sets on hospital stays, and on hospital infrastructure and operating characteristics, for the years 2010 and 2011, to identify all emergency patients admitted with the main diagnosis of acute STEMI. We then calculated the proportion of patients who were treated with revascularization. We used multivariable multilevel Poisson regression to determine if receipt of revascularization varied by patient and hospital characteristics. RESULTS: Of the 9,696 cases we identified, 71.6% received revascularization. Patients were less likely to receive revascularization if they were female, and 80 years or older. In the multivariable multilevel Poisson regression analysis, there was a trend for small-volume hospitals performing fewer revascularizations but this was not statistically significant while being female (Relative Proportion = 0.91, 95% CI: 0.86 to 0.97) and being older than 80 years was still associated with less frequent revascularization. CONCLUSION: Female and older patients were less likely to receive revascularization. Further research needs to clarify whether this reflects differential application of treatment guidelines or limitations in this kind of routine data.

Original publication




Journal article


PLoS One

Publication Date





Acute Disease, Adolescent, Adult, Age Factors, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Coronary Artery Bypass, Cross-Sectional Studies, Demography, Electrocardiography, Emergency Medical Services, Female, Hospitalization, Hospitals, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Myocardial Infarction, Percutaneous Coronary Intervention, Sex Factors, Switzerland, Treatment Outcome, Young Adult