People who arrive at the hospital a day or more after experiencing a heart attack might expect to receive an artery-opening angioplasty. But they shouldn't, according to guidelines issued in 2007 based on evidence that angioplasty was no more beneficial than medical treatment in such cases.
Yet today, doctors still perform as many angioplasties on people showing up "late" after a heart attack as they did before the guidelines were published, according to the lead feature in the December 2011 Harvard Heart Letter.
Among the possible reasons why practice hasn't changed in this regard:
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