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CiteWeb id: 20070000016

CiteWeb score: 7348

DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.107.187397

Myocardial infarction is a major cause of death and disability worldwide. Coronary atherosclerosis is a chronic disease with stable and unstable periods. During unstable periods with activated inflammation in the vascular wall, patients may develop a myocardial infarction. Myocardial infarction may be a minor event in a lifelong chronic disease, it may even go undetected, but it may also be a major catastrophic event leading to sudden death or severe hemodynamic deterioration. A myocardial infarction may be the first manifestation of coronary artery disease, or it may occur, repeatedly, in patients with established disease. Information on myocardial infarction attack rates can provide useful data regarding the burden of coronary artery disease within and across populations, especially if standardized data are collected in a manner that demonstrates the distinction between incident and recurrent events. From the epidemiological point of view, the incidence of myocardial infarction in a population can be used as a proxy for the prevalence of coronary artery disease in that population. Furthermore, the term myocardial infarction has major psychological and legal implications for the individual and society. It is an indicator of one of the leading health problems in the world, and it is an outcome measure in clinical trials and observational studies. With these perspectives, myocardial infarction may be defined from a number of different clinical, electrocardiographic, biochemical, imaging, and pathological characteristics. In the past, a general consensus existed for the clinical syndrome designated as myocardial infarction. In studies of disease prevalence, the World Health Organization (WHO) defined myocardial infarction from symptoms, ECG abnormalities, and enzymes. However, the development of more sensitive and specific serological biomarkers and precise imaging techniques allows detection of ever smaller amounts of myocardial necrosis. Accordingly, current clinical practice, health care delivery systems, as well as epidemiology and clinical trials all require a …

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