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New Canadian study finds drug coated heart stents to be safe:
Date:10/3/2007

'Effective in High Risk Angioplasty Patients'

TORONTO, Oct. 3 /PRNewswire/ - Much controversy has developed over the past year about the safety and potential complications of drug-eluting heart stents, increasing the risk of possible fatal blood clots, even years after an angioplasty procedure. However, a new Canadian study led by investigators from Ontario's Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) and McMaster University's Program for Assessment of Technologies in Health, tells a different story.

Drug-eluting stents were found to be most effective in reducing the need for repeat angioplasty procedures or bypass surgery in angioplasty patients at the 'highest risk' for a renarrowing of the artery around the stent, without significantly increasing the rate of death or risk of heart attack. Lead Author, ICES Sr. Scientist, Dr. Jack Tu says, "This is good news, reassuring patients and cardiologists about the safety of drug-eluting stents when used in appropriate individuals. Our results also suggest physicians should be selective in using drug-eluting stents, offering them to angioplasty patients who are at the highest risk for repeat cardiac procedures."

Reporting in the October 4th issue of the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, the large Canadian study conducted at ICES, in collaboration with cardiologists and researchers from Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and the University of Toronto, looked at over 3,700 unique matched pairs of Ontario patients who received drug-eluting stents (DES) or more conventional bare metal stents (BMS) during angioplasty. Using data from the Ontario Cardiac Care Network's (CCN) population-based angioplasty registry, and accounting for differences in patient characteristics, investigators analyzed the outcomes of patients having angioplasty in Ontario between December 2003 and March 2005 for the 'real-world' effectiveness of DES. The results:

- DES reduced the need for a
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SOURCE Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences
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