In heart attack patients, oxygen therapy does not prevent the development of heart failure nor reduce the long-term risk of dying, said researchers at Karolinska Institutet as a result of a major Swedish study. The study is to be presented at the European Society of Cardiology’s (ESC) cardiology congress in Munich and published at the same time in the journal Circulation. The researchers expect their results to have a global impact on recommended healthcare for treating heart attacks.
‘Oxygen therapy does not reduce the development of heart failure, the most worrying complication of heart attacks.’
“Our new study has filled a central gap in knowledge regarding how to treat patients suffering a heart attack. One year ago, we were able to confirm that oxygen therapy does not appear to reduce the risk of dying up to one year after the heart attack. We can now substantiate these findings for a long-term perspective and show that oxygen therapy does not reduce the development of heart failure, the most worrying complication of heart attacks. On this basis, the routine use of oxygen can now be eliminated, and healthcare personnel can concentrate on more efficient measures and rapid transport to hospital,” confirms Robin Hofmann, senior consultant cardiologist and researcher at the Department of clinical science and education, Södersjukhuset, at Karolinska Institutet.
The DETO2X-AMI study was conducted at 35 Swedish hospitals, involving random treatment with or without oxygen of 6,629 patients with suspected heart attack. The result shows that oxygen therapy in a moderate dose is not harmful but does not increase the survival rates or reduce complications, such as the development of heart failure or new heart attacks.
The research project was financed by the Swedish Heart-Lung Foundation and the Swedish Research Council.