Acute myocardial infarction under-diagnosis and mortality in a Tanzanian emergency department: A prospective observational study.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:Growing evidence suggests that under-diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) may be common in sub-Saharan Africa. Prospective studies of routine AMI screening among patients presenting to emergency departments in sub-Saharan Africa are lacking. Our objective was to determine the prevalence of AMI among patients in a Tanzanian emergency department. METHODS:In a prospective observational study, consecutive adult patients presenting with chest pain or shortness of breath to a referral hospital emergency department in northern Tanzania were enrolled. Electrocardiogram (ECG) and troponin testing were performed for all participants to diagnose AMI types according to the Fourth Universal Definition. All ECGs were interpreted by two independent physician judges. ECGs suggesting ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) were further reviewed by additional judges. Mortality was assessed 30 days following enrollment. RESULTS:Of 681 enrolled participants, 152 (22.3%) had AMI, including 61 STEMIs and 91 non-STEMIS (NSTEMIs). Of AMI patients, 91 (59.9%) were male, mean (SD) age was 61.2 (18.5) years, and mean (SD) duration of symptoms prior to presentation was 6.6 (12.2) days. In the emergency department, 35 (23.0%) AMI patients received aspirin and none received thrombolytics. Of 150 (98.7%) AMI patients completing 30-day follow-up, 65 (43.3%) had died. CONCLUSIONS:In a northern Tanzanian emergency department, AMI is common, rarely treated with evidence-based therapies, and associated with high mortality. Interventions are needed to improve AMI diagnosis, care, and outcomes.

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Citation

Published Version (Please cite this version)

10.1016/j.ahj.2020.05.017

Publication Info

Hertz, Julian T, Francis M Sakita, Godfrey L Kweka, Alexander T Limkakeng, Sophie W Galson, Jinny J Ye, Tumsifu G Tarimo, Gloria Temu, et al. (2020). Acute myocardial infarction under-diagnosis and mortality in a Tanzanian emergency department: A prospective observational study. American heart journal, 226. pp. 214–221. 10.1016/j.ahj.2020.05.017 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/21625.

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Scholars@Duke

Hertz

Julian T Hertz

Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine

Julian Hertz, MD, MSc, is an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine & Global Health. He graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University and attended medical school at Duke University, where he received the Dean's Merit Scholarship and the Thomas Jefferson Award for leadership. He completed his residency training in emergency medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and his fellowship in Global Health at Duke.

Dr. Hertz's primary interests include global health, implementation science, and undergraduate and graduate medical education. Dr. Hertz's research focuses on using implementation science methods to improve cardiovascular care both locally and globally. His current projects involve developing interventions to improve acute myocardial infarction care in Tanzania, to improve management of hypertension among Tanzanians with HIV, and to improve post-hospital care among patients with multimorbidity in East Africa.

Dr. Hertz has received numerous awards for clinical, educational, and research excellence, including the Duke Emergency Medicine Faculty Teacher of the Year Award, the Duke Emergency Medicine Faculty Clinician of the Year Award, and the Duke Emergency Medicine Faculty Researcher of the Year Award. He has also received the Golden Apple Teaching Award from the Duke medical student body, the Duke Master Clinician/Teacher Award, and the Global Academic Achievement Award from the Society of Academic Emergency Medicine.

Limkakeng

Alexander Tan Limkakeng

Professor of Emergency Medicine

Dr. Alexander T. Limkakeng, Jr., MD, MHSc, FACEP is a Professor of Emergency Medicine, Vice Chair of Clinical Research, Director of the Acute Care Research Team, and Director of the Resident Research Fellowship for the Department of Emergency Medicine in the Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, North Carolina.

Dr. Limkakeng has served as chair of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) Research Committee, and been the Course Director of the ACEP Research Forum from 2016-2018, the largest emergency medical research platform in the nation. He is also the Assistant Director of ACEP’s Emergency Medicine Basic Research Skills course. He was elected to the Nominating Committee of the Society of Academic Emergency Medicine.

As a researcher, Dr. Limkakeng has led multiple clinical trials and interdepartmental sponsored projects and is author on over 100 peer-reviewed manuscripts. These include studies in emergency conditions such as COVID-19, traumatic brain injury, hypertension, heart failure, thrombosis, stroke, envenomations, and septic shock. His research has been funded by grants and contracts totaling over $9 million dollars. He has lectured internationally on acute coronary syndrome, responsible conduct of research, design of clinical trials, and precision medicine in emergency care. He has led Duke’s involvement in NIH-funded research networks and in industry-funded work that led to FDA approval for multiple high-sensitivity cardiac troponin assays and point-of-care COVID-19 diagnostic tests. He has servesd as Co-PI for the Duke U24 Hub in the NIH Early Phase Pain Investigation Clinical Network (EPPIC-Net) (1U24NS114416) and now serves as a co-PI on the Duke U24 Hub award (1U24NS129498) in the NIH Strategies to Innovate Emergency Care Clinical Trials (SIREN) Network and in the NIH NINDS Strokenet network (1U24NS135250)

His personal research interest is finding new ways to diagnose acute coronary syndrome. In particular, he is interested in novel biomarkers and precision medicine approaches to this problem. The common element throughout this work is a focus on time-sensitive health conditions.
Galson

Sophie Wolfe Galson

Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine

Dr. Galson graduated from Mount Sinai School of Medicine and completed her residency in Emergency Medicine at the University of Arizona. She has always had a love for global health and has worked in India, Madagascar and Tanzania during her medical training. She completed the Global Health Emergency Medicine Fellowship in 2018.  
Dr. Galson's research is focused on non-communicable diseases in the emergency department and linkage to care in Moshi, Tanzania. She is interested in the intersection of public health and emergency care and hopes to promote the development of emergency medicine globally. Additionally, she loves to teach and instructs both residents and medical students in the classroom and clinically in the emergency department.  She joined Duke Emergency Medicine as faculty after the completion of her fellowship.

Thielman

Nathan Maclyn Thielman

Professor of Medicine

Broadly, my research focuses on a range of clinical and social issues that affect persons living with or at risk for HIV infection in resource-poor settings. In Tanzania, our group is applying novel methods to optimize HIV testing uptake among high-risk groups. We recently demonstrated that the Discrete Choice Experiment (DCE), a form of stated preference survey research, is a robust tool for identifying (a) which characteristics of HIV testing options are most preferred by different populations and (b) which tradeoffs individuals make in evaluating testing options. Building on more than a decade of productive HIV testing research in the Kilimanjaro Region, the next phase of our NIMH funded project will test the hypothesis that DCE-derived HIV testing options significantly increases rates of testing among groups at high risk for HIV infection. This work holds promise not only for optimizing HIV testing uptake in the Kilimanjaro Region, but also for applying novel tools in the service of translational epidemiology and implementation research.

Bettger

Janet Prvu Bettger

Adjunct Associate in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery

Dr. Bettger’s research is dedicated to establishing real world evidence aimed to improve health care quality and policies that reduce the burden of disease and disability. As a health services researcher and implementation scientist, her research extends from observational studies to randomized and pragmatic trials. She was the Founding Director of Duke Roybal Center for Translational Research in the Behavioral and Social Sciences of Aging and the Founding Director of Undergraduate Initiatives for the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy. She has examined implementation of several integrated care models to improve the transition home from the hospital (VERITAS with virtual exercise therapy after knee replacement, COMPASS for stroke, RECOVER for stroke in rural China, and coordinated care for trauma patients in Tanzania). She also studies implementation of community-based models of care that can prevent functional decline. These include the CTSA-funded IMPAC RCT of integrating physical therapists into primary care as first line providers to address musculoskeletal pain, the VA-funded Gerofit program of structured and progressive in-person and virtual group exercise for older Veterans, MRC-funded SINEMA RCT of a village-based model supporting stroke recovery in China, and a NIDCD study comparing three primary care protocols for older adult hearing healthcare.

In addition to the evidence translation studies in China (RECOVER and SINEMA) and Tanzania, she has partnered with experts in Singapore on stroke systems research, and worked on large cluster randomized trials to improve evidence-based care in Brazil, Peru, Argentina (BRIDGE-Stroke) and China (CNSR and Golden Bridge). To address health locally, she was the faculty sponsor to launch Exercise is Medicine at Duke and Help Desk, a student volunteer community resource navigator model addressing social determinants of health.

Dr. Bettger received her BA from the University of Western Ontario, Canada and her MS from the University of Wisconsin–LaCrosse where she studied community reintegration for stroke and brain-injured patients transitioning from hospital to home. Her doctoral training in Rehabilitation Sciences, completed at Boston University, concluded with an investigation of patterns of functional recovery and factors affecting outcomes in patients transitioning home following acute rehabilitation. While working on her doctorate, she also worked in state government as the director of the Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Registry. Dr. Bettger completed post-doctoral training at the University of Pennsylvania with a NIH NRSA research fellowship in neurorehabilitation, a research fellowship at the NewCourtland Center for Transitions and Health, and a Switzer Fellowship funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research to study the role of the environment on functional outcomes. She completed additional research training at Duke as a mentored scholar in comparative effectiveness research funded by AHRQ. As of July 2022, she is an Adjunct Associate Professor for Duke's Department of Orthopaedics and has transitioned out of her role as Co-Director of the Duke Clinical and Translational Institute (CTSA) Pilots Accelerator Core working with NCCU. She is affiliate faculty with Duke's Science and Society, Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy, the Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI) and Duke Global Health Institute (DGHI), is a Senior Fellow of the Duke Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development, and is a Fellow of the American Heart Association. 

Bartlett

John Alexander Bartlett

Professor of Medicine

My clinical investigation is focused on the pathogenesis and treatment of HIV infection and its complications, especially in resource-limited settings.

Key Words: HIV infection, AIDS, treatment strategies, treatment failure, co-infections, resource-limited settings

Blandina Mmbaga

Adjunct Associate Professor of Global Health
Bloomfield

Gerald Bloomfield

Associate Professor of Medicine

Gerald Bloomfield, MD, MPH, joined the faculty in Medicine and Global Health after completing his Cardiovascular Medicine fellowship training at Duke University Medical Center and Duke Clinical Research Institute. Bloomfield also completed the Duke Global Health Residency/Fellowship Pathway and a Fogarty International Clinical Research Fellowship. He received his medical education, internal medicine residency and Master of Public Health degree from Johns Hopkins University. Bloomfield leads a longstanding research and capacity building program on cardiovascular global health which includes work in under-resourced communities in the US and a number of low- and middle-income country settings.


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