Objectives. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the rate of hospital admission for acute myocardial infarction (AMI) varies seasonally in a large, prospective U.S. registry. Background. Identification of specific patterns in the timing of the onset of AMI is of importance because it implies that there are triggers external to the atherosclerotic plaque. Using death certificate data, most investigators have noted a seasonal pattern to the death rate from AMI. However, it is unclear whether this observation is due to variation in the prevalence of AMI or to other factors that may alter the likelihood of a fatal outcome. Methods. We examined the seasonal mean number of cases of AMI (adjusted for the length of days in each season) that were submitted to the National Registry of Myocardial Infarction (NRMI) by 138 high volume core hospitals over a 3-year period (December 21, 1990 through December 20, 1993) during which the number of hospitals participating in the Registry was stable. Data were analyzed using general linear modeling and analysis of variance. Results. High volume core hospitals reported 83,541 cases of AMI to the Registry during the study period. Approximately 10% more such cases were entered into the Registry in winter or spring than in summer (p < 0.05). The same trends were seen in both northern and southern states, men and women, patients <70 versus ≤70 years of age and those with Q wave versus non-Q wave AMI. Conclusions. We conclude that there is a seasonal pattern to the reporting rate of cases of AMI in the NRMI. This observation further supports the hypothesis that acute cardiovascular events may be triggered by events that are external to the atherosclerotic plaque.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine