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Research Article

Preventing thromboembolism after myocardial infarction: effect of low-dose heparin or smoking.

Br Med J 1977; 1 doi: (Published 01 January 1977) Cite this as: Br Med J 1977;1:18
  1. P A Emerson,
  2. P Marks


    A trial of low-dose subcutaneous heparin to prevent thromboembolic complications after myocardial infarction was carried out in 78 patients. Of the 37 heparin-treated patients only two (5%) developed evidence of leg vein thrombosis, while 14 (34%) of the 41 controls did so, and five controls developed pulmonary emboli. Leg vein thrombosis developed in 12 (50%) of the 24 controls who did not smoke cigarettes but in only two (13%) of the 17 controls who were cigarette smokers. Non-smokers who have a myocardial infarction should be given low-dose heparin subcutaneously to prevent leg vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.