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Arch Intern Med. 1994 Jan 10;154(1):37-9.

The benefits of aspirin in acute myocardial infarction. Still a well-kept secret in the United States.

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Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass.


Acute myocardial infarction (MI) remains far and away the leading cause of death in the United States, and is responsible for approximately 500,000 annual fatalities. However, mortality due to MI has declined substantially in recent decades, owing to advances in treatment as well as prevention. Low-dose aspirin as well as thrombolytic therapy given during acute evolving MI each decrease mortality by about one quarter. Both therapies remain underutilized in the United States. Aspirin can be given to virtually all patients, has a far more favorable safety profile than thrombolysis, and confers a comparable benefit at a small fraction of the cost of thrombolytic agents. The more widespread use of aspirin in acute MI is one of the most important and timely clinical challenges in the United States.

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