Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Myocardial infarction: a comparison between home and hospital care for patients.

Br Med J 1976; 1 doi: (Published 17 April 1976) Cite this as: Br Med J 1976;1:925
  1. H G Mather,
  2. D C Morgan,
  3. N G Pearson,
  4. K L Read,
  5. D B Shaw,
  6. G R Steed,
  7. M G Thorne,
  8. C J Lawrence,
  9. I S Riley


    To compare the results of home and hospital treatment in men aged under 70 years who had suffered acute myocardial infarction within 48 hours 1895 patients were considered for study in four centres in south-west England. Four-hundred-and-fifty patients were randomly allocated to receive care either at home by their family doctor or in hospital, initially in an intensive care unit. The randomised treatment groups were similar in age, history of cardiovascular disease, and incidence of hypotension when first examined. They were followed up for up to a year after onset. The mortality rate at 28 days was 12% for the random home group and 14% for the random hospital group; the corresponding figures at 330 days were 20% and 27%. On average, older patients and those without initial hypotension fared rather better under home care. The patients who underwent randomisation were similar to those whose place of care was not randomised, except that the non-randomised group contained a higher proportion of initially hypotensive patients, whose prognosis was poor wherever treated. These results confirm and extend our preliminary findings. Home care is a proper form of treatment for many patients with acute myocardial infarction, particularly those over 60 years and those with an uncomplicated attack seen by general practitioners.