TUESDAY, Jan. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Levels of schooling may
affect treatment and outcomes of patients who suffer a type of
heart attack called acute ST-segment elevation myocardial
infarction (STEMI), a new study reveals.
Commonly considered the most dangerous type of heart attack,
STEMI occurs when the coronary artery is totally blocked, causing
damage to a large area of the heart.
In the new study, Dr. Rajendra H. Mehta, from Duke Clinical
Research Institute and Duke University Medical Center, and
colleagues analyzed data from 11,326 STEMI patients in a number of
countries and found that those who completed less than eight years
of education were less likely to receive certain treatments and
more likely to die.
Patients with less than eight years of schooling were four to 13
times more likely to die or suffer a nonfatal stroke within 30 days
after their heart attack, compared to those with more than 16 years
of education. About 17.5 percent of patients with less education
died within one year, compared with 3.5 percent of those with more
education, the investigators found.
The researchers also noted that aspirin therapy and beta
blockers were used less often in patients with fewer years of
The findings were released online Jan. 3 and are scheduled for
publication in the Jan. 11 issue of the
Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Mehta and colleagues suggested that doctors ask patients about
their level of education and spend more time teaching less-educated
patients about coronary disease and the importance of prevention
and compliance with treatments.
The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has more