The estimation of myocardial infarction incidence, mortality and survival rates requires access to population registers with a standardized methodology and the following characteristics: First, the study population must be clearly defined and stable over time, making it possible to compare epidemiologic indicators. Second, the study definition of the disease must be standardized, valid, reliable and reproducible and permit comparison of the results with other studies in different populations. Finally, all myocardial infarctions in all hospitals in the study area must be monitored, as well as the healthcare transport involved, and cause of death must be validated by consulting the official death records.
The REGICOR population register began in 1990, meeting all of these conditions. The register contains sociodemographic and clinical data on all cases of myocardial infarction that occurred through 2009 among approximately 600,000 residents of the 6 counties of the province of Girona (L’Alt Empordà, El Baix Empordà, La Garrotxa, El Gironès, El Pla de l’Estany and La Selva). The data sources during these 20 years were all of the hospitals and clinical centres in the study area, ambulance records, and the official death register, with the goal of compiling an exhaustive register.
The study of prognosis and treatment effectiveness requires hospital registers that contain information about all individuals with the same diagnosis attending a particular healthcase centre. The REGICOR hospital register created for this purpose in 1978 includes all patients diagnosed with a first myocardial infarction from that year through 2009 at Josep Trueta University Hospital in Girona. More than 30 years of REGICOR data collection has also permitted an analysis of changes in patient management and the treatment of patients with myocardial infarction.
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