How effective are rapid access chest pain clinics? Prognosis of incident angina and non-cardiac chest pain in 8762 consecutive patients.

Newham University Hospital, London, UK.
Heart (British Cardiac Society) (Impact Factor: 6.02). 05/2007; 93(4):458-63. DOI: 10.1136/hrt.2006.090894
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To determine whether rapid access chest pain clinics are clinically effective by comparison of coronary event rates in patients diagnosed with angina with rates in patients diagnosed with non-cardiac chest pain and the general population.
Multicentre cohort study of consecutive patients with chest pain attending the rapid access chest pain clinics (RACPCs) of six hospitals in England.
8762 patients diagnosed with either non-cardiac chest pain (n = 6396) or incident angina without prior myocardial infarction (n = 2366) at first cardiological assessment, followed up for a median of 2.57 (interquartile range 1.96-4.15) years.
Primary end point--death due to coronary heart disease (International Classification of Diseases (ICD)10 I20-I25) or acute coronary syndrome (non-fatal myocardial infarction (ICD10 I21-I23), hospital admission with unstable angina (I24.0, I24.8, I24.9)). Secondary end points--all-cause mortality (ICD I20), cardiovascular death (ICD10 I00-I99), or non-fatal myocardial infarction or non-fatal stroke (I60-I69).
The cumulative probability of the primary end point in patients diagnosed with angina was 16.52% (95% confidence interval (CI) 14.88% to 18.32%) after 3 years compared with 2.73% (95% CI 2.29% to 3.25%) in patients with non-cardiac chest pain. Coronary standardised mortality ratios for men and women with angina aged <65 years were 3.52 (95% CI 1.98 to 5.07) and 4.39 (95% CI 1.14 to 7.64). Of the 599 patients who had the primary end point, 194 (32.4%) had been diagnosed with non-cardiac chest pain. These patients were younger, less likely to have typical symptoms, more likely to be south Asian and more likely to have a normal resting electrocardiogram than patients with angina who had the primary end point.
RACPCs are successful in identifying patients with incident angina who are at high coronary risk, but there is a need to reduce misdiagnosis and improve outcomes in patients diagnosed with non-cardiac chest pain who accounted for nearly one third of cardiac events during follow-up.

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