PURPOSE: The effects of survival after myocardial infarction on the prevalence of chronic heart failure have not been well characterized. We reviewed studies of the incidence, mortality, and predictors of heart failure after myocardial infarction, and suggest directions for further research. METHODS AND RESULTS: We conducted a review of the literature from 1978 to 2000. Of 33 identified articles, 18 (55%) included heart failure as a primary endpoint. The mean in-hospital incidence of heart failure after myocardial infarction differed significantly by study design; it was highest in population-based studies and lowest in clinical trials (37% vs. 18%, P <0.01). Only 10 studies reported the incidence of subsequent heart failure. One-year mortality ranged from 16% to 39% and showed no improvement with time. Patients with in-hospital heart failure after myocardial infarction had a two- to sixfold greater in-hospital mortality and up to a fivefold increased 1-year mortality compared with patients without heart failure. The most consistent risk factors for the development of heart failure after myocardial infarction were advanced age, female sex, diabetes, and an increased heart rate at the time of admission. CONCLUSION: The reported incidence of, and mortality from, heart failure after myocardial infarction varies by study design. Additional research on the etiology and prognosis of late heart failure after myocardial infarction is needed.
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