Although interventional techniques have changed the management of acute phases of myocardial infarction, they have not altered the need for evaluating long-term risk factors. As many as 60% of patients with multiple risk factors die within one year after discharge from the hospital, and these patients often need coronary angiography and interventional therapy to improve their prognosis. Patients who have had thrombolytic therapy and subsequently manifest recurrent myocardial ischemia need coronary angiography as a prelude to angiography or surgery. The long-term outlook for the myocardial infarction patient may be improved by modification of such risk factors as smoking, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia.
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