Background — The impact of recent developments in coronary angioplasty on the broad spectrum of patients treated in routine practice is largely undefined. Analysis of population-based data can provide insight into trends in clinical outcomes and associated costs of coronary angioplasty procedures.
Methods and Results — With the use of a comprehensive hospital discharge database covering more than 11 million Canadians, we analyzed 12,748 first-time angioplasty procedures performed from 1992 to 1995 inclusive. Patient demographics and major adverse events were recorded. With the use of forward linkage, readmissions within 12 months were classified according to procedure performed and/or most responsible diagnosis. The proportion of patients readmitted, the number of readmissions per index procedure, and diagnosis-specific readmission costs were compared by calendar year. Over the 4-year study period, there was a 21% increase in the annual volume of index procedures. There were no statistically significant differences between 1992 and 1995 in sex distribution, mean age, comorbid conditions, length of stay, or need for coronary bypass surgery related to the index procedure. The all-cause readmission rate declined from 51.6% to 47.2% between 1992 and 1995 (P <.001), primarily because of a decline in the admission rate for repeat revascularization from 24.8% to 19.6% (P <.001). The 12-month readmission cost declined by $435 (1994 Canadian dollars) per patient.
Conclusions — The clinical outcomes of coronary angioplasty in a broad cohort of patients have improved in recent years. Although readmissions within 1 year of an angioplasty procedure remain common, the number related to repeat revascularization has declined, with an associated decline in downstream costs.