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Editor's Correspondence
September 14, 1998

Cocaine Use and Chest Pain Syndromes

Arch Intern Med. 1998;158(16):1827-1829. doi:

In reply

I agree with Jay that the health care community should strive to elicit information from patients regarding all cardiovascular risk factors. Our study specifically examined the documentation of cocaine use, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, hypercholesterolemia, tobacco smoking, and family history of premature coronary artery disease. We found that cocaine use was less frequently documented than the other traditional cardiac risk factors,1 despite the fact that those factors are of limited value in determining the risk of infarction in ED patients with chest pain.2 Identifying risk factors seldom alters the treatment of patients in EDs; rather, it plays a larger role in the prevention of future coronary events.

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