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February 24, 1962

Anticoagulants and Myocardial Infarction

Author Affiliations

Valley Forge Heart Hospital & Medical Center Norristown, Pa.

JAMA. 1962;179(8):667. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050080079023

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To the Editor:—  In a recent report of a 4-year Danish study of 800 patients, Drs. Tage Hilden, Michael Schwartz, Fleming Raaschou, and Kurt Iversen came to the conclusion that "anticoagulant therapy is not indicated in acute myocardial infarction."Our observations a decade ago (JAMA146:1274 [July 28] 1951) were identical with those of the Danish investigators. Unfortunately, it is difficult to swim against the tide. To date, we continued our studies on more than 1,100 patients with acute myocardial infarction at the Valley Forge Heart Hospital & Medical Center, Norristown, Pa., and Wolffe Hospital in Philadelphia. The best results were obtained in a group who were on placebos, purported to be anticoagulants. These patients were reexamined and reassured at similar intervals as anticoagulant-treated patients came for prothrombin determinations.This finding again focuses attention on the power of medical guidance and supposedly "drug-crutch" reliance as potent therapeutic agents.Unnecessary

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