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Myocardial infarction in an urban population: worse long term prognosis for patients from less affluent residential areas
  1. P Tydén1,
  2. O Hansen2,
  3. G Engström1,
  4. B Hedblad1,
  5. L Janzon1
  1. 1Department of Community Medicine, Malmö University Hospital, Lund University, Malmö, Sweden
  2. 2Department of Cardiology, Malmö University Hospital
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr P Tydén, Department of Community Medicine, Unit of Epidemiology Malmö University Hospital, 205 02 Malmö, Sweden;


Study objective: The objective in this follow up study from the Malmö myocardial infarction register has been to assess whether long term survival following discharge after first myocardial infarction has any relation with the socioeconomic environment and to assess to what extent intra-urban differences in mortality from ischaemic heart disease can be accounted for by covariance with long term survival following discharge after acute myocardial infarction.

Design: Register based surveillance study.

Setting: Seventeen residential areas in the city of Malmö, Sweden.

Participants: The cohort contains all 2931 male and 2083 female patients with myocardial infarction who were discharged for the first time between 1986–95 from Malmö University Hospital.

Main results: During the on average 4.9 years of follow up 55% of the patients died. The sex adjusted and age adjusted all cause mortality rate/1000 patient years ranged between residential areas from 85.5 to 163.6. The area specific relative risk of death after discharge was associated with a low socioeconomic score, r=−0.56, p=0.018. Major risk factors for cardiovascular disease were more prevalent in areas with low socioeconomic score and low rates of survival. Of the intra-urban differences in mortality from ischaemic heart disease, 41% could be accounted for by differences with regard to the survival rate after discharge.

Conclusions: The results are compatible with the hypothesis that the socioeconomic environment plays an important part in the survival rate of patients with myocardial infarction. To assess the preventive potential, the extent to which socioeconomic circumstances covary with severity of disease, respectively with the use and compliance with secondary preventive measures, needs to be evaluated.

  • myocardial infarction
  • survival
  • socioeconomic factors

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  • Funding: this study was supported by grants from the Swedish Council for Social Research.

  • Conflicts of interest: none.

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