Comparison of delay times between symptom onset of an acute ST-elevation myocardial infarction and hospital arrival in men and women <65 years versus ≥65 years of age.: Findings from the Multicenter Munich Examination of Delay in Patients Experiencing Acute Myocardial Infarction (MEDEA) Study.
Early administration of reperfusion therapy in acute ST-elevation myocardial infarctions (STEMI) is crucial to reduce mortality. Although female sex and old age are key factors contributing to an inadequate long prehospital delay time, little is known whether women ≥65 years are a particular risk population. Hence, we studied the interaction of sex and age (<65 years or ≥65 years) and the contribution of chest pain to delay time during STEMI. Bedside interview data were collected in 619 STEMI patients from the Munich Examination of Delay in Patients Experiencing Acute Myocardial Infarction (MEDEA) study. Sex and age group stratification disclosed an excess delay risk for women ≥65 years, accounting for a 2.39 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.39 to 4.10)-fold higher odds to delay longer than 2 hours compared with all other patient groups including younger women (p ≤0.002). Median delay time was 266 minutes in women ≥65 years and 148 minutes in younger women (p <0.001). Chest pain during STEMI had the lowest frequency both in women (81%) and men ≥65 years (83%) and the highest frequency (95%) in younger women. Experiencing non-chest pain was 2.32-fold (95% CI, 1.20 to 4.46, p <0.05) higher in women ≥65 years than in all other patients. Mediation analysis disclosed that the effect accounted for only 9% of the variance. Age specific educational strategies targeting women ≥65 years at risk are urgently needed. To tailor adequate strategies, more research is required to understand age- and sex driven barriers to timely identification of ischemic symptoms.