More Hospitalized Heart Patients Die in December

Hospital care the same as in other months

MONDAY, Oct. 3 (HealthDay News) -- More heart patients hospitalized with heart attacks die in December than in any other month, according to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Trip J. Meine, M.D., of Duke Clinical Research Institute in Durham, N.C., and colleagues conducted a retrospective analysis of data from 127,959 Medicare patients aged 65 and older who were hospitalized between 1994 and 1996 with acute myocardial infarction (MI).

The 30-day mortality rates were higher for heart attack patients in December than in other months, although hospital care was not significantly different.

"Our findings highlight the need for further research into the mechanism of increased mortality in patients hospitalized in December while ensuring continued emphasis on standardized care during holiday seasons for patients with acute MI," the researchers conclude.

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