Patients discharged from hospital after a myocardial infarction have a mortality rate of about 8% over the ensuing year.1 2 Attempts to reduce this rate by weight reduction, lowering raised cholesterol and/or increasing physical exercise have failed. The risks are probably reduced in smokers who stop smoking3 and now evidence from two prospective double-blind trials suggests that they are also reduced by the prophylactic use of a β-blocker.4 5
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