Heart Beat: June 2011

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Patients who undergo non-cardiac surgery can be at a heightened risk for heart attacks in the first few days after their operations, but careful monitoring can reduce those patients short-term mortality risks. Those are the recommendations from a study published in the April 19 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine. Researchers noted that about 200 million adults have surgery every year around the world, and that aggressive monitoring of those patients could help significantly cut the mortality rate among this patient group. Of particular concern are the asymptomatic heart attacks in the days immediately after surgery. Patients may be especially susceptible because they are often still on heavy medications that may blunt the pain and other symptoms typically associated with a heart attack.
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