Patients who survive an acute myocardial infarction face an increased risk of sudden death for approximately 6 months after hospital discharge; their prognosis is determined by the severity of their coronary arteriosclerosis and the degree of left ventricular dysfunction. Frequent ventricular premature complexes and evidence of ischemia either spontaneously or on treadmill are also markers for early morbidity and mortality in patients who are discharged from the hospital after acute myocardial infarction. The degree of left ventricular dysfunction is the strongest predictor of mortality; patients who have both left ventricular dysfunction, frequent premature ventricular beats and evidence of ischemia are at the highest risk of mortality after hospital discharge. It appears likely that all 3 of these risk factors interact and that therapy to reduce morbidity and mortality after myocardial infarction should aim at the amelioration of each of these risk factors. A model for the interaction of these risk factors is proposed and an approach to treatment for patients at high risk of mortality after hospital discharge after myocardial infarction is suggested.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine