Objectives. This study was designed to reassess the prediction of recurrent nonfatal myocardial infarction in patients recovering from acute myocardial infarction after thrombolysis. Background. Recurrent nonfatal myocardial infarction is a strong and independent predictor of subsequent mortality. Current knowledge of risk factors for nonfatal reinfarction is still largely based on data gathered before the advent of thrombolysis. Thus, this prospective study was planned to identify harbingers of nonfatal reinfarction in the postinfarction patients of the multicenter Gruppo Italiano per lo Studio della Sopravvivenza nell'Infarto Miocardico (GISSI-2) trial. Methods. Predictors of nonfatal reinfarction at 6 months were analyzed by multivariate technique (Cox model) in 8,907 GISSI-2 survivors of myocardial infarction with clinical follow-up, relying on a set of prespecified variables reflecting residual ischemia, left ventricular failure or dysfunction, complex ventricular arrhythmias, comorbidity as well as demographic and historical factors. Results. The postdischarge to 6-month incidence rate of nonfetal reinfarction was 2.5%. Independent predictors of nonfatal reinfarction were cardiac ineligibility for exercise test (relative risk 2.97, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.98 to 4.45), previous myocardial infarction (relative risk 1.70, 95% CI 1.22 to 2.36) and angina at follow-up (relative risk 1.50, 95% CI 1.10 to 2.04). On further multivariate analysis, performed in 6,580 patients with both echocardiographic and electrocardiographic monitoring data available, a history of angina emerged as an additional risk predictor (relative risk 1.58, 95% CI 1.10 to 2.25). Conclusions. The 6-month incidence of nonfatal reinfarction is rather low in survivors of myocardial infarction after thrombolysis. Cardiac ineligibility for exercise testing and a history of coronary artery disease are risk predictors. Recurrent nonfatal infarction is not predictable by qualitative variables reflecting residual ischemia, except by postdischarge angina. Prediction of nonfatal reinfarction appears less accurate than prediction of mortality, as almost 50% of reinfarctions occur in patients without any of the identified risk factors.
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