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Safe at Any Age: Octogenarians Do As Well as Younger Patients With Interventional Radiology Arterial Procedures
Date:3/18/2008

Treatment Should Not Be Withheld in the Old; Improves Lives

WASHINGTON, March 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Seniors over the age of 80 can safely undergo diagnostic angiography and arterial interventions -- such as vascular stenting and angioplasty -- and do just as well as younger patients. A study released today during the Society of Interventional Radiology's 33rd Annual Scientific Meeting indicates that seniors (ages 85-93) tolerated these procedures well, avoided surgery and could be treated as outpatients -- irrespective of age. The outcomes of the treatments in the octogenarians were compared to those of 50- to 79-year-old patients who had an equivalent procedure during the same time period by the same doctor. The study included 64 octogenarians who had arterial angioplasty and/or stenting to treat peripheral arterial disease (PAD) -- caused by blocked arteries in the legs -- or to improve blood flow to the kidneys by opening blocked arteries that deliver blood to that organ. All were treated as outpatients and followed after discharge from the hospital.

"This is important news for seniors and their doctors. In some cases, doctors may be reluctant to send an older person for treatment. There's no reason for seniors with leg pain caused by peripheral arterial disease to put up with pain, limited mobility and diminished quality of life. Likewise, treating blocked renal arteries can improve kidney function and treat high blood pressure if caused by diminished renal blood flow," said George. G. Hartnell, FRCP, FRCR, chief of cardiovascular and interventional radiology at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Mass.

Previously, the risks of angiography, X-ray images of the arteries with contrast and arterial interventions, such as angioplasty and stenting, were thought to increase with age, and older seniors were even excluded from some interventional trials because of the perception that they were too frail to participate. Some
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SOURCE Society of Interventional Radiology
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