Acute coronary syndromes contribute a substantial part of the global disease burden. To realize a reduction in mortality and morbidity, the management of patients with these conditions involves the integration of several different approaches. Timely delivery of appropriate care is a key factor, as the beneficial effect of reperfusion is greatest when performed as soon as possible. Innovations in antithrombotic therapy have also contributed significantly to improvements in the prevention of ischaemic complications. However, with the use of such treatment, an increase in the risk of bleeding is inevitable. Therefore, the greatest challenge is now to obtain an optimal balance between the prevention of ischaemic complications and the risk of bleeding. In this regard, identification of patients at highest risk of either one is essential.
© 2012 The Association for the Publication of the Journal of Internal Medicine.