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ARMAS, Nurys B. et al. Acute myocardial infarction mortality in Cuba, 1999-2008. MEDICC rev. [online]. 2012, vol.14, n.4, pp.19-25. ISSN 1555-7960.

INTRODUCTION: Acute myocardial infarction is one of the leading causes of death in the world. This is also true in Cuba, where no national-level epidemiologic studies of related mortality have been published in recent years. OBJECTIVE Describe acute myocardial infarction mortality in Cuba from 1999 through 2008. METHODS A descriptive study was conducted of persons aged >25 years with a diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction from 1999 through 2008. Data were obtained from the Ministry of Public Health's National Statistics Division database for variables: age; sex; site (out of hospital, in hospital or in hospital emergency room) and location (jurisdiction) of death. Proportions, age- and sex-specific rates and age-standardized overall rates per 100,000 population were calculated and compared over time, using the two five-year time frames within the study period. RESULTS A total of 145,808 persons who had suffered acute myocardial infarction were recorded, 75,512 of whom died, for a case-fatality rate of 51.8% (55.1% in 1999-2003 and 49.7% in 2004-2008). In the first five-year period, mortality was 98.9 per 100,000 population, falling to 81.8 per 100,000 in the second; most affected were people aged >75 years and men. Of Cuba's 14 provinces and special municipality, Havana, Havana City and Camagüey provinces, and the Isle of Youth Special Municipality showed the highest mortality; Holguín, Ciego de Ávila and Granma provinces the lowest. Out-of-hospital deaths accounted for the greatest proportion of deaths in both five-year periods (54.8% and 59.2% in 1999-2003 and 2004-2008, respectively). CONCLUSIONS Although risk of death from acute myocardial infarction decreased through the study period, it remains a major health problem in Cuba. A national acute myocardial infarction case registry is needed. Also required is further research to help elucidate possible causes of Cuba's high acute myocardial infarction mortality: cardiovascular risk studies, studies of out-of-hospital mortality and quality of care assessments for these patients.

Keywords : Acute myocardial infarction; ischemic heart disease; cardiovascular diseases; chronic disease; mortality; case-fatality; epidemiology; surveillance; registries; Cuba.

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