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March 1960

Cardiac Rupture Complicating Myocardial Infarction in the Aged

Author Affiliations

New York

From the Medical Service, The Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews of New York.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1960;105(3):431-443. doi:10.1001/archinte.1960.00270150085009

Introduction  Over the course of the past 13 years the results of almost 700 postmortem examinations performed at this institution have made us aware of the high incidence of cardiac rupture as a complication of acute myocardial infarction in elderly patients. This situation is not made explicit in the current textbooks of cardiology, although in 1925, Krumbhaar, after describing 22 cases of his own and 632 from other authors, made the following concise statement: "It seems then that a person dies from a broken heart, not in young adult life from a great grief or emotion, but usually in old age, on account of diseased coronaries and from such prosaic causes as walking, eating, defecation, slight exercise or even during sleep." 1In order to clarify the complicated picture of heart disease in old age, we present herewith our clinical and pathological findings in myocardial infarction as seen in aged

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