Massachusetts Department of Public Health seal Massachusetts Environmental Public Health Tracking

Heart Attack Hospitalization

  • Heart attack hospitalizations are only calculated among people 35 years of age and older.
  • -1 = Data not shown when case counts < 11. These small numbers are suppressed to protect privacy.
  • Unstable rates must be interpreted with caution. To see more detailed data with stability information, please use the Explore Maps & Tables link on this page.
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Picture of an elderly woman in a hospital bed with a doctor listening to her heart, which pertains to heart attack hospitalization information.

Each year, about 1.2 million Americans are expected to have a new or recurrent acute myocardial infarction (AMI), or heart attack. In Massachusetts, heart disease, stroke, and other diseases of the heart and blood vessels are responsible for approximately 35% of all deaths in the state. Risk factors for heart attack include health, lifestyle, and environmental factors. Environmental factors include exposure to certain air pollutants, such as particulate matter. Exposure to particulate matter has been shown to increase the rate of heart attack, arrhythmias, and premature death.

Did You Know?
While commonly known risk factors for heart attack include obesity, smoking, and high cholesterol, a number of public health studies have found an increased risk of heart attack from exposure to air pollution like ozone and particulate matter, especially for the elderly and individuals with pre-existing cardiovascular conditions.

Data on hospitalization visits are collected by the Massachusetts Center for Health Information and Analysis (CHIA) from all acute care hospitals and satellite emergency facilities in the state. CHIA collects information on all inpatient hospital admissions and emergency department (ED) visits; because nearly all heart attack hospitalizations result in an inpatient admission, data are not presented for heart attack ED visits separately.

Data Considerations

When reviewing and interpreting heart attack hospitalization data, it is important to take into consideration the following:

  • Heart attack hospitalizations are only calculated among people 35 years of age and older.
  • Hospitalization data, by definition, exclude discharges from specialty hospitals (e.g., psychiatric), long-term care facilities, and federal hospitals that are exempt from state reporting requirements.
  • Heart attack hospitalization data do not include individuals who do not receive medical care or who are not hospitalized, including those who die in emergency rooms, in nursing homes, or at home without being admitted to a hospital, and those treated in outpatient settings.
  • Transfers from one hospital to another may be included in the dataset as separate hospitalization events.
  • Hospitalization data are validated through a process of automated editing and report verification. In addition, each record is subjected to a series of edits that check for duplicate records, accuracy, consistency, completeness, and conformity.
  • Numbers and rates may differ slightly from those contained in other publications. These differences may be due to file updates, differences in calculation methods (such as grouping ages differently or rounding off numbers at different points in calculations), and updates or differences in population estimates.
  • Data will only be presented to the public if the confidentiality rules of MDPH and CHIA are met. These are rules requiring data aggregation and cell suppression to protect privacy.
  • Rates are based on the residential location of cases and not necessarily the location where the incidents occur.

For additional information, please read the FAQ.

Available Data on Heart Attack Hospitalization

See the Explore Maps & Tables link on this page to access the following measures for heart attack hospitalization in your community. The most current available data will be shown. Be sure to check the site periodically as new data are added each year.

To protect privacy, no information is shown that could identify an individual.

  • Hospitalization rates for heart attack (among those 35 years of age or older)
  • Summary statistics (minimum, maximum, and average number) for monthly hospitalizations for heart attack
  • Age-specific hospitalization rates for heart attack
  • Crude and age-adjusted hospitalization rates for heart attack
  • Explore data in tables, charts, and maps
  • All of the measures above are available by community, county, and statewide
More About the Data
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