Cardiovascular disease continues to be the major cause of death in the United States, Europe, and parts of Asia despite the use of new pharmacological strategies to lower blood lipids, more aggressive therapy of hypertension, and changes in lifestyle.11 Atherosclerosis and its sequelae, once considered solely a problem of hypercholesterolemia, is now known to be a more complex process.

The acute coronary syndrome includes acute myocardial infarction (MI) with ST-segment elevation or depression and unstable angina (UA). This syndrome is a serious health problem because it is responsible for 20% of all medical emergency department (ED) admissions with the highest risk for adverse events and death.22 The usual approach to the treatment of an acute coronary event involves early aggressive therapeutic strategies aimed at limiting the amount of myocardial injury and preventing complications usually due...

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