Prehospital Delay in Patients With Acute Coronary Syndromes (from the Global Registry of Acute Coronary Events [GRACE])
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Duration of delay in seeking medical care in persons with symptoms of evolving acute myocardial infarction (AMI) is of current interest given the time-dependent benefits associated with early use of coronary reperfusion approaches. The objectives of this multinational study were to describe geographic variation in the extent of and factors associated with prehospital delay in patients enrolled in the GRACE study. Data were collected from 44,695 patients hospitalized with an acute coronary syndrome in 14 countries from 2000 to 2006. The regions under study included Argentina and Brazil (n = 8,203), United States/Canada (n = 12,810), Europe (n = 19,354), and Australia/New Zealand (n = 4,328). Patients with ST-segment elevation AMI, non-ST-segment elevation AMI, and unstable angina comprised the study population. There were marked geographic differences in extent of prehospital delay in patients with ST-segment elevation AMI and those with non-ST-segment elevation AMI/unstable angina. In patients with ST-segment elevation AMI, the shortest duration of prehospital delay was observed in patients from Australia/New Zealand (median 2.2 hours), whereas patients from Argentina and Brazil delayed the longest (median 4.0 hours). Median duration of prehospital delay was shortest (2.5 hours) in patients with ST-segment elevation AMI, whereas patients with non-ST-segment elevation AMI/unstable angina showed considerably longer prehospital delay (3.1 hours). Several demographic and clinical characteristics were associated with prolonged delay overall and in the different geographic locations under study. In conclusion, results of this large multinational registry provided insights into contemporary patterns of care-seeking behavior in patients with acute coronary disease.