A consecutive series of 184 patients aged less than 55 years who had an acute myocardial infarction were enrolled in a study to examine outcome at one year. One hundred of these patients underwent a maximal exercise test six weeks after infarction to evaluate its ability to predict cardiac events. The in-hospital mortality for the series was 7.6% (14 deaths) and the one year mortality for the 170 survivors was 3.8% (seven deaths). During the exercise test 31 patients had angina and 21 had ST depression. During the one year follow up period 39 of 100 patients had angina on exertion, 15 patients underwent coronary artery surgery, three patients had a reinfarction, and one patient died. Angina during the exercise test but not ST segment depression during the exercise test predicted angina on exertion and the need for coronary artery surgery. In the year of follow up angina occurred during everyday exertion in 25 (81%) (95% confidence interval 62 to 92%) of the 31 patients who developed angina during the exercise test and in only 14 (20%) (95% confidence interval 12 to 32%) of 69 patients who did not, and coronary artery surgery was performed in 11 (35%) (95% confidence interval 19 to 54%) of the 31 patients with angina during the exercise test and only four (6%) (95% confidence interval 2 to 15%) of 69 patients without angina. The outcome after myocardial infarction in patients aged less than 55 years was good and the occurrence of angina, but not ST segment depression, during a maximal exercise test six weeks after infarction was an indication for further investigation.
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