Incidence, prognosis, and factors associated with cardiac arrest in patients hospitalized with acute coronary syndromes (the Global Registry of Acute Coronary Events Registry)

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine; Department of Quantitative Health Sciences; Center for Outcomes Research



Document Type


Medical Subject Headings

Acute Coronary Syndrome; Heart Arrest; Ventricular Fibrillation; Tachycardia


Cardiovascular Diseases | Health Services Research


OBJECTIVES: Contemporary data are lacking with respect to the incidence rates of, factors associated with, and impact of cardiac arrest from ventricular fibrillation or tachycardia (VF-CA) on hospital survival in patients admitted with an acute coronary syndrome (ACS). The objectives of this multinational study were to characterize trends in the magnitude of in-hospital VF-CA complicating an ACS and to describe its impact over time on hospital prognosis.

METHODS: In 59,161 patients enrolled in the Global Registry of Acute Coronary Events Study between 2000 and 2007, we determined the incidence, prognosis, and factors associated with VF-CA.

RESULTS: Overall, 3618 patients (6.2%) developed VF-CA during their hospitalization for an ACS. Incidence rates of VF-CA declined over time. Patients who experienced VF-CA were on average older and had a greater burden of cardiovascular disease, yet were less likely to receive evidence-based cardiac therapies than patients in whom VF-CA did not occur. Hospital death rates were 55.3% and 1.5% in patients with and without VF-CA, respectively. There was a greater than 50% decline in the hospital death rates associated with VF-CA during the years under study. Patients with a VF-CA occurring after 48 h were at especially high risk for dying during hospitalization (82.8%).

CONCLUSION: Despite reductions in the magnitude of, and short-term mortality from, VF-CA, VF-CA continues to exert an adverse effect on survival among patients hospitalized with an ACS. Opportunities exist to improve the identification and treatment of ACS patients at risk for VF-CA to reduce the incidence of, and mortality from, this serious arrhythmic disturbance.

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Citation: Coron Artery Dis. 2012 Mar;23(2):105-12. DOI 10.1097/MCA.0b013e32834f1b3c

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