Current evidence suggests that routine invasive therapy in the setting of unstable angina/non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (UA/NSTEMI) reduces the incidence of composite end points (i.e., death, myocardial infarction, or angina.). The 2002 American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association guidelines recommend invasive therapy in high-risk patients, although it is unknown if such an approach improves survival. We conducted a meta-analysis on 5 studies in 6,766 UA/NSTEMI patients who were randomized to either routine invasive versus conservative therapy in the era of glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitors and intracoronary stents. Compared with conservative therapy, an invasive approach suggested a reduction in mortality at 6 to 12 months (risk ratio [RR] 0.80, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.63 to 1.03) and at 24 months (RR 0.77, 95% CI 0.60 to 0.99). The composite end point of death or myocardial infarction was reduced throughout all periods of follow-up: at 30 days (RR 0.61, 95% CI 0.45 to 0.84), at 6 months (RR 0.75, 95% CI 0.63 to 0.89), and at 12 months (RR 0.78, 95% CI 0.65 to 0.92). For the same composite end point at 6 to 12 months, men benefited from invasive therapy (RR 0.68, 95% CI 0.57 to 0.81), as did troponin-positive patients (RR 0.74, 95% CI 0.59 to 0.94). The results for women (RR 1.07, 95% CI 0.82 to 1.41) and troponin-negative patients (RR 0.82, 95% CI 0.59 to 1.14) were equivocal. Routine invasive therapy in UA/NSTEMI patients along with adjunctive use of glycoprotein IIb/ IIIa inhibitors and intracoronary stents improves survival. Enhanced risk stratification is needed in women and troponin-negative patients so that invasive therapy may be more effectively recommended in these groups.