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Major Bleeds After Heart Procedures May Raise Death Risk: Study

TUESDAY, March 11 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with major bleeding after procedures to open blocked heart arteries are at significantly increased risk for death, according to a new study.

Researchers analyzed data from 3.3 million percutaneous coronary interventions (balloon angioplasty and stent-placement procedures) performed in the United States between 2004 and 2011.

The study found that 1.7 percent of the patients had major bleeding after their procedure and 0.65 percent of them died in the hospital. The in-hospital death rate for patients with major bleeding was 5.3 percent, compared with 1.9 percent for those without bleeding.

After taking other factors into account, the researchers calculated that patients with major bleeding after percutaneous coronary intervention had about a 12 percent increased risk of in-hospital death, according to the study, which was published in the March 13 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Bleeding is the most common nonheart-related complication of percutaneous coronary intervention. It's also associated with short- and long-term death, heart attack, stroke, blood transfusion, a longer hospital stay, rehospitalization and increased hospital costs, Dr. Adnan Chhatriwalla, of Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City, Mo., said in a journal news release.

The researchers also said there are ways to predict a patient's risk of bleeding after percutaneous coronary intervention and to reduce that risk through the use of drugs or other methods.

More information

The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has more about coronary angioplasty.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Journal of the American Medical Association, news release, March 12, 2013

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