Acute coronary syndrome (ACS; myocardial infarction and unstable angina) is the leading cause of mortality in Australia, and those who survive one ACS event are at significant risk of experiencing another.
Access to evidence-based and optimal ACS management in both the acute and long-term periods is of great importance. Management of ACS should include appropriate timely revascularisation, medical therapy and ongoing secondary prevention.
A key consideration in selecting acute antithrombotic therapies is a careful determination of the risk of bleeding versus risk of recurrent ischaemia.
Although there is a strong evidence base for the urgency of delivery and the quality of acute care, knowledge translation is suboptimal. There remains a need for ongoing research and policy development aimed at improving ease and equity of access to evidence-based care.
Despite universal guideline recommendations for ongoing secondary prevention strategies, research indicates suboptimal use of evidence-based medications, poor adherence to lifestyle recommendations, and low levels of participation in traditional cardiac rehabilitation.
Contemporary secondary prevention programs are evolving into flexible, multifaceted interventions to provide maximal clinical benefits to a majority of patients.
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