An epidemiological survey of myocardial infarction in Teesside County Borough was completed between April 1972 and April 1973. Cases were notified and divided into those who had suffered a 'definite', 'possible', or 'not' myocardial infarction. Severity factors were measured in the 'definite' cases and the distribution of the various factors studied among home, ward, and coronary care unit treated cases. Increasing severity was found to be related to increased fatality. The fatality of patients treated at home was less than that of those treated in the ward or the coronary care unit. Those who survived to be treated at home were not less severe than those who survived in a comparable group to be treated in hospital using the objective criteria described in the assessment of severity. It is emphasised that the results must be interpreted with caution as other essentially subjective criteria not so easily measurable, but which might have been of considerable influence in the assessment of severity, were not measured in this study.
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