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Sept 11, 1967


JAMA. 1967;201(11):877-878. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130110103034

There are a number of unresolved questions regarding the efficacy of anticoagulant therapy in the treatment and prophylaxis of coronary artery disease. Clinicians vigorously defend their respective viewpoints; the latter range from a reluctance to use anticoagulant drugs during the acute phase of myocardial infarction to the enthusiastic acceptance of these agents even in patients with angina pectoris or in subjects with healed myocardial infarctions. Of course, physicians could withhold judgment until the status of this therapy is conclusively established, but, realistically, it is evident that current data, even if incomplete, must serve as a basis for a decision to use or withhold anticoagulants. Recognizing that "to withhold treatment is as much a decision as to institute therapy," Wessler and Gaston have recently noted the guidelines that they use for administering anticoagulant drugs in coronary heart disease.1

As many as 40% of patients with myocardial infarction do not have