The leading cause of death in the United States is cardiovascular disease. Myocardial infarctions claim over 600,000 lives a year, and strokes and other vascular diseases claim in excess of another 400,000. The family physician with a good basic background in cardiovascular disease can provide definitive care for the vast majority of problems. In order to maximize his effectiveness, he does need to become aware of his levels of competence; he must screen his patients carefully, identify their problems, and then characterize their therapeutic needs. Those persons whose problems fall within his capabilities should be treated by him. For those who do not, he should seek consultation with or refer to a cardiologist.
KeywordsAortic Valve Mitral Valve Congenital Heart Disease Angina Pectoris Unstable Angina
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