Background — The relationship between noninvasive cardiac diagnostic testing intensity and downstream clinical outcomes is unclear. Our objective was to examine the relationship between hospital network noninvasive cardiac diagnostic testing intensity and downstream clinical outcomes in patients who were discharged from the emergency department after assessment for chest pain.
Methods and Results — We employed a retrospective cohort study design of 387 809 patients evaluated for chest pain in the emergency department between April 1, 2010 and March 31, 2016. Hospital networks were divided into tertiles based on usage of noninvasive cardiac diagnostic testing. The primary outcome was a composite of acute myocardial infarction or all‐cause mortality. Adjusted Cox proportional hazards models were used to compare the hazard of the composite outcome of myocardical infarction and/or all‐cause mortality between the tertiles. After adjustment for clinically relevant covariates, patients evaluated for chest pain in intermediate noninvasive cardiac diagnostic testing usage tertile hospital networks did not have significantly different hazards of the composite outcome when compared with those evaluated in low usage tertile hospital networks >90 days (hazard ratio [HR], 1.00; 95% CI, 0.83–1.21), 6 months (HR, 1.07; 95% CI, 0.92–1.24), and 1 year (HR, 1.03; 95% CI, 0.94–1.14). Patients evaluated in the high usage tertile also did not have significantly different hazards of the composite outcome compared with those evaluated in the low usage tertile at 90 days (HR, 0.98; 95% CI, 0.80–1.19), 6 months (HR, 1.01; 95% CI, 0.87–1.17); and 1 year (HR, 0.95; 95% CI, 0.86–1.05).
Conclusions — Our population‐based study demonstrated that high noninvasive cardiac diagnostic testing use intensity was not associated with reductions in downstream myocardial infarction or all‐cause mortality.
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