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Financial Stress and Outcomes after Acute Myocardial Infarction
Published: Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Author: Sachin J. Shah et al.

by Sachin J. Shah, Harlan M. Krumholz, Kimberly J. Reid, Saif S. Rathore, Aditya Mandawat, John A. Spertus, Joseph S. Ross


Little is known about the association between financial stress and health care outcomes. Our objective was to examine the association between self-reported financial stress during initial hospitalization and long-term outcomes after acute myocardial infarction (AMI).

Materials and Methods

We used Prospective Registry Evaluating Myocardial Infarction: Event and Recovery (PREMIER) data, an observational, multicenter US study of AMI patients discharged between January 2003 and June 2004. Primary outcomes were disease-specific and generic health status outcomes at 1 year (symptoms, function, and quality of life (QoL)), assessed by the Seattle Angina Questionnaire [SAQ] and Short Form [SF]-12. Secondary outcomes included 1-year rehospitalization and 4-year mortality. Hierarchical regression models accounted for patient socio-demographic, clinical, and quality of care characteristics, and access and barriers to care.


Among 2344 AMI patients, 1241 (52.9%) reported no financial stress, 735 (31.4%) reported low financial stress, and 368 (15.7%) reported high financial stress. When comparing individuals reporting low financial stress to no financial stress, there were no significant differences in post-AMI outcomes. In contrast, individuals reporting high financial stress were more likely to have worse physical health (SF-12 PCS mean difference -3.24, 95% Confidence Interval [CI]: -4.82, -1.66), mental health (SF-12 MCS mean difference: -2.44, 95% CI: -3.83, -1.05), disease-specific QoL (SAQ QoL mean difference: -6.99, 95% CI: -9.59, -4.40), and be experiencing angina (SAQ Angina Relative Risk?=?1.66, 95%CI: 1.19, 2.32) at 1 year post-AMI. While 1-year readmission rates were increased (Hazard Ratio?=?1.50; 95%CI: 1.20, 1.86), 4-year mortality was no different.


High financial stress is common and an important risk factor for worse long-term outcomes post-AMI, independent of access and barriers to care.