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Editorial
June 23, 2003

Treatment of Acute Myocardial InfarctionBetter, but Still Not Good Enough

Arch Intern Med. 2003;163(12):1392-1393. doi:10.1001/archinte.163.12.1392

THE CENTERS for Disease Control and Prevention1 reported that approximately 1 in 4 Americans have some form of cardiovascular disease, including coronary heart disease, hypertension, stroke, and congestive heart failure. In 2000, 1 in 2.5 Americans died from cardiovascular disease.2 Approximately 50% of these deaths are due to ischemic heart disease. It has been estimated that in 2003, cardiovascular diseases will cost the nation $351.8 billion, including costs to the health care industry and lost productivity.2 Improvement in the prevention and treatment of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) should remain high on the priority list not only for purely health reasons, but also for social and economic reasons. In 1998, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention received funding for states to develop comprehensive cardiovascular health programs. Recommendations for preventive strategies included cigarette smoking prevention and cessation activities that address the social and marketing aspects of tobacco use, better treatment of hypertension and hyperlipidemia, and adding regular exercise to the now sedentary lifestyles of Americans.

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