Research Article

Assessment of cardiac risk 10 days after uncomplicated myocardial infarction.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1982; 284 doi: (Published 23 January 1982) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1982;284:227
  1. V M Jelinek,
  2. I G McDonald,
  3. W F Ryan,
  4. R W Ziffer,
  5. A Clemens,
  6. J Gerloff


    A total of 188 patients with uncomplicated acute myocardial infarction (long-term Norris prognostic index 3.2) were rapidly mobilised, underwent a symptom-limited exercise test around the day of discharge from hospital (day 10), and returned to work at a median of six weeks after the acute event. The incidence of cardiac death six months, one year, and three years after infarction was 2.7%, 4.5%, and 7.3% respectively, and the corresponding figures for recurrent heart attacks were 3.4%, 8.2%, and 18.5% respectively. The risk of recurrence of heart attack was predicted by three variables assessed at discharge--namely, a history of classical effort angina (p less than 0.01), radiological heart failure (p less than 0.05), and angina induced by the exercise test (p less than 0.05). The presence of any of these risk factors defined a group of patients with a sevenfold risk of recurrent heart attacks within six months of the initial acute infarct. It is concluded that these risk factors identify a group of patients with a high risk of recurrence early after infarction, in whom vigorous secondary prophylaxis is desirable.