Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Elizabeth J. Mason


"Cardiovascular diseases claim more American lives than all other causes of death combined,”1 as stated in the American Heart Association's Heart Facts 1975. In 1972, it was estimated that 1,036,560 individuals died of cardiovascular disease; 683,100 of these were attributable to acute myocardial infarction.2 In addition, an estimated 28,420,000 Americans have some type of cardiovascular disease at a cost of $20 billion annually.3 The figures ”bring home" a stalking reality; cardiovascular disease is epidemic in this country, the incidence and ramifications of which make it an ever-present threat to all Americans. The greatest threat is heart attack, tragically bearing the distinction of ”the nation's number 1 killer.”4

Since it is estimated that 3,940,000 Americans have some history of angina pectoris or myocardial infarction,5 the problems associated with readjustment to living following myocardial infarction are of great concern to many, foremost to the victims themselves and their families. Among these adjustment problems are fear of pain and death, anxiety, and depression. Change in lifestyle may be necessary in the areas of diet, activity, job, and family rights and responsibilities.


Scanned, with permission from the author, from the original print version, which resides in University Archives.


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Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission


Included in

Nursing Commons