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Content Update

May 20, 2019

Update on Aspirin Use in Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease: The American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association (ACC/AHA) published a guideline for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease. The 2019 Guideline reinforces the importance of adopting lifelong, healthy dietary and exercise habits for everyone. In addition, tobacco cessation, weight loss, and pharmacologic treatment to address risk factors for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD), such as hypertension and dyslipidemia, are given strong (Class I) recommendations. Aspirin should be used infrequently for primary prevention of ASCVD because its potential benefits are often offset by increased bleeding risk. A team-based approach to addressing factors that increase ASCVD risk is strongly endorsed (Class 1A recommendation).



Upon completion of the chapter, the reader will be able to:

  1. Identify risk factors for the development of ischemic heart disease (IHD).

  2. Differentiate between the pathophysiology of chronic stable angina and acute coronary syndromes (ACS).

  3. Recognize symptoms and diagnostic criteria of IHD in a specific patient.

  4. Compare and contrast the diagnostic criteria of IHD and ACS.

  5. Identify treatment goals of stable IHD (SIHD).

  6. Identify appropriate lifestyle modifications and pharmacologic therapy to address each treatment goal.

  7. Design an appropriate treatment regimen for the management of SIHD based on patient-specific information.

  8. Formulate a monitoring plan to assess effectiveness and adverse effects of a SIHD drug regimen.


Ischemic heart disease (IHD) is also called coronary heart disease (CHD) or coronary artery disease (CAD). The term ischemic refers to a decreased supply of oxygenated blood to the heart muscle. IHD is caused by stenosis, or narrowing, in one or more of the major coronary arteries that supply blood to the heart, most commonly by atherosclerotic plaques. Atherosclerotic plaques may impede coronary blood flow to the extent that cardiac tissue distal to the coronary artery narrowing is deprived of sufficient oxygen to meet oxygen demand. image IHD results from an imbalance between myocardial oxygen supply and oxygen demand (Figure 7–1). Common clinical manifestations of IHD include chronic stable angina and the ACS of unstable angina (UA), non–ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI), and ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI).


This illustration depicts the balance between myocardial oxygen supply and demand and various factors that affect each. It should be noted that diastolic filling time is not an independent predictor of myocardial oxygen supply per se, but rather a determinant of coronary blood flow. On the left is myocardial oxygen supply and demand under normal circumstances. On the right is the mismatch between oxygen supply and demand in patients with IHD. In patients without IHD, coronary blood flow increases in response to increases in myocardial oxygen demand. However, in patients with IHD, coronary blood flow cannot sufficiently increase (and may decrease) in response to ...

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