BACKGROUND: The existence of a gap between research evidence and clinical practice has been described recently. Several drugs are effective in preventing secondary events after acute myocardial infarction (AMI), but it is not certain whether this evidence is employed in daily practice. We investigated the drugs currently employed for patients with a history of AMI in Japan.
METHODS: Medical records of patients who developed AMI during the calendar year of 1999 were retrospectively identified at three teaching hospitals in Japan. We collected data on drugs prescribed at three time points (upon admission for AMI, at the time of discharge, and one year after discharge) for each patient.
RESULTS: Data were available for 149 patients with AM!. Drugs prescribed at the time of discharge were aspirin (77.5%), nitrates (68.3%), and angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (52.8%) . β-blockers were prescribed for only 12.0% of patients. The drugs used one year after discharge were to a large extent similar to those at the time of discharge. There were no significant correlations between the use of these drugs and comorbidity.
CONCLUSION: Despite established evidence that β-blockers offer benefits to patients with a history of AMI, they have not been prescribed frequently, for reasons that remain unclear. To improve the quality of clinical care, further systematic effort is needed to bridge this evidence to practice gap.
Japan Primary Care Association