BACKGROUND: Data are limited on whether clinical trials have randomized higher-risk patients over time and how trends in risk profiles and evidence-based pharmacotherapies have influenced trial outcomes. We quantified changes in baseline risk, treatment, and outcomes of patients with non-ST-segment elevation acute coronary syndromes (NSTE ACS) randomized in 9 phase 3 clinical trials of antithrombotic therapy over 15years. METHODS: We studied 58,771 patients in GUSTO IIb, PURSUIT, PARAGON-A, PARAGON-B, PRISM, PRISM-PLUS, GUSTO IV-ACS, SYNERGY, and EARLY ACS. Patient-level data were mapped to 3 pre-specified 5-year randomization periods. Temporal trends in GRACE score-predicted mortality were compared with trends in observed mortality. RESULTS: Over time, in-hospital and discharge use of thienopyridines (p=0.001), statins (p<0.0001), and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (p<0.0001) increased, and hospital length-of-stay decreased (p=0.024). Blood transfusion use increased (8.3% [1994-98], 10.7% [1999-2003], 13% [2004-08], p=0.0002) despite stable rates of severe bleeding (0.9% [1994-98], 1.4% [1999-2003] and 1.1% [2004-08], p=0.127) and coronary artery bypass grafting (12.4% [1994-98], 13.7% [1999-2003] 13.1% [2004-08], p=0.880). Although predicted 6-month mortality increased (6.9% [1994-98], 9.0% [1999-2003], 7.9% [2004-08], p=0.017), observed 6-month mortality decreased (6.7% [1994-98], 5.8% [1999-2003], 5.1% [2004-08], p=0.025). Thirty-day myocardial infarction rates remained stable (9.2% [1994-98], 9.3% [1999-2003], 10% [2004-08], p=0.539). CONCLUSIONS: Despite enrolling higher-risk patients into these NSTE ACS trials, with better treatment, observed mortality declined over the past 15years. The appropriateness of increased blood transfusion despite unchanged bleeding rates deserves further study.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ijcard.2012.01.065
View details for Web of Science ID 000320768800050
View details for PubMedID 22341697