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April 16, 1982

β-Blockade and Recurrent Myocardial Infarction

JAMA. 1982;247(15):2141-2142. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320400053035

In a recent issue of The Journal,1 there was presented a randomized controlled trial on a treatment for arteriosclerotic heart disease that is finally definitive: it is the final report of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's multicentered, randomized, double-blind trial of propranolol hydrochloride in patients who have recovered from an acute myocardial infarction. The results are favorable to propranolol use in such patients. One may be sure that the statistics were beyond challenge, because the trial was finished prematurely, nine months ahead of its anticipated date of termination. Previously, there were good reasons to think that β-blockade might be beneficial in patients who had coronary heart disease, but the benefits measured in terms of mortality were so clear-cut that one must accept the recommendation of the group: "The use of propranolol in patients with no contraindications to β-blockade who have had a recent myocardial infarction is recommended