Data are sparse regarding the long-term benefit of care concordant with clinical practice guidelines in patients presenting with unstable angina pectoris and non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (UAP/NSTEMI), particularly in the general care setting. We extended follow-up in a preexisting cohort of 275 patients hospitalized with primary UAP/NSTEMI. Using Cox models, we compared long-term mortality between patients who received care concordant with ≥80% of 8 important guideline recommendations during the index hospitalization and patients who did not. Among all study patients, 68% received guideline-concordant care. During follow-up (median 9.4 years) 49% of patients died. Patients with UAP/NSTEMI who received guideline-concordant care had significantly decreased long-term mortality compared with those who received guideline-discordant care (hazards ratio [HR] 0.45, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.32 to 0.64). Guideline-concordant care remained associated with decreased mortality after adjusting for other predictors of long-term mortality (HR 0.57, 95% CI 0.39 to 0.84) and after adjustment for the propensity to receive guideline-concordant care (HR 0.61, 95% CI 0.43 to 0.88). The benefit of guideline-concordant care relative to discordant care was preserved in high-risk populations shown to be less likely to receive guideline-concordant care, including patients with advanced age, congestive heart failure, elevated serum creatinine, and prior myocardial infarction. Care concordant with UAP/NSTEMI clinical practice guidelines is associated with substantially improved long-term survival. Our findings endorse the approach adopted by authors of clinical practice guidelines in generalizing evidence-based medicine to usual clinical care. In firmly establishing the benefit of consensus guidelines, the foundation is set for efforts to improve practitioner compliance with these standards.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine