Research Article

Prognosis of patients with "chest pain ?cause".

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1981; 282 doi: (Published 07 February 1981) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1981;282:431
  1. R G Wilcox,
  2. J M Roland,
  3. J R Hampton


    All 662 patients admitted to the two coronary care units in Nottingham during 12 consecutive months were followed up prospectively for one year. At the time of discharge from hospital they were categorised according to set criteria into the following diagnostic groups: definite, probable, or possible myocardial infarction; ischaemia heart disease without infarction; chest pain ?cause; and other diagnoses. Eighty-nine patients (13% of admissions) were categorised as having chest pain ?cause. No deaths occurred among these patients during the observation period, although two were readmitted with myocardial infarction. Patients with chest pain ?cause had few problems during the year after admission, and at the end of that time 75% were in their original employment. Patients admitted with ischaemic heart disease had a similar death rate (between six weeks and one year after admission) to those with myocardial infarction, and only 36% were in their original employment one year after admission. Chest pain ?cause is a clinically useful diagnostic category to which patients may be allocated after only simple investigations.