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Waiting times, revascularization modality, and outcomes after acute myocardial infarction at hospitals with and without on-site revascularization facilities in Canada


Objectives — This study was designed to determine whether admission to a Canadian hospital with on-site revascularization (invasive hospital) affected revascularization choice, timing, and outcome compared with community (non-invasive) hospitals.

Background — Healthcare systems in Canada are characterized by relative restraint in diffusion of tertiary cardiovascular services, with capacity for revascularization procedures concentrated in large regional referral centers.

Methods — We used linked administrative data and a clinical registry to follow-up 15,166 Ontario patients who underwent revascularization within the year after their index acute myocardial infarction (MI). Outcomes included recurrent urgent cardiac hospitalization, hospital bed-days, and death within the same year after the index admission. We adjusted for age, gender, socioeconomic status, illness severity, attending physician specialty, and academic hospital affiliation.

Results — After adjusting for baseline factors, patients admitted to invasive hospitals were more likely to receive angioplasty than bypass surgery (adjusted odds ratio: 1.85; 95% confidence interval: 1.68 to 2.04, p < 0.001). The converse pattern was seen for patients admitted to community hospitals. Median revascularization waiting times were significantly shorter at invasive hospitals (12 vs. 48 days, p < 0.001). Patients admitted to invasive hospitals had fewer cardiac re-admissions (41.5 vs. 68.9 events per 100 patients, p < 0.001) before their first revascularization and consumed fewer hospital bed-days (379 vs. 517 per 100 patients, p < 0.001). There were no differences in outcomes beyond revascularization.

Conclusions — Outcome advantages associated with timely post-MI revascularization highlight the importance of organizing revascularization referral networks and facilitating access to revascularization for patients with acute coronary syndromes admitted to community hospitals in Canada.



Alter DA, Tu JV, Austin PC, Naylor CD. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2003; 42(3):410-9.

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