To study initiation, dosages, and compliance with beta-blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE)-inhibitors, and statins in patients after acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and to identify likely targets for improvement.Methods and results
Patients admitted with first AMI between 1995 and 2002 were identified by linking nationwide administrative registers. A total of 55 315 patients survived 30 days after discharge and were included; 58.3% received beta-blockers, 29.1% ACE-inhibitors, and 33.5% statins. After 1, 3, and 5 years, 78, 64, and 58% of survivors who had started therapy were still receiving beta-blockers, 86, 78, and 74% were receiving ACE-inhibitors, and 85, 80, and 82% were receiving statins, respectively. Increased age and female sex were associated with improved compliance. The dosages prescribed were generally 50% or less of the dosages used in clinical trials, and dosages did not increase during the observation period. Patients who did not start treatment shortly after discharge had a low probability of starting treatment later.Conclusion
The main problem with underuse of recommended treatment after AMI is that treatment is not initiated at an appropriate dosage shortly after AMI. A focused effort in the immediate post-infarction period would appear to provide long-term benefit.