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Editorial
November 25, 2002

The Scarred HeartMortality Rates for Myocardial Infarction in the Absence of Modern Therapy

Arch Intern Med. 2002;162(21):2411-2412. doi:10.1001/archinte.162.21.2411

Every one must go to his grave with his heart scarred like a soldier's body.—Sydney Smith, 1771-1845

ISCHEMIC HEART disease is now the number one cause of death in the world. Sudden death and myocardial infarction (MI) account for a large percentage of the deaths that result from ischemic heart disease. Tremendous efforts have been made during the past 25 years to develop effective therapeutic interventions for patients with acute MI (AMI). These endeavors have met with success: a variety of highly effective therapies, such as thrombolysis, β-adrenergic blocking agents, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition, and antithrombotic therapy, has been shown to decrease morbidity and mortality rates in patients with AMI.

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