The finding held, he added, even after researchers took into account the extent of disease and other variables.
While some patients clearly need surgery, Stone said, some have disease that could be treated either way. For those patients, he said, the findings about stroke can be weighed into their decision about which treatment to choose.
The study findings echo what cardiologists have long believed, said Dr. Kirk Garratt, director of interventional cardiology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.
In bypass surgery, he said, there is naturally more trauma to the body than there is during angioplasty.
The new analysis, he said, "confirms what has been accepted by cardiologists."
While some patients have the option of either procedure, such as patients with only one or two blockages, surgery is indicated if a patient has multiple blockages, Garratt added.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hospital discharge data from 2009 shows about 415,000 bypass graft surgeries and 605,000 angioplasties or atherectomy (a similar procedure) were done that year.
To learn more about heart disease, go to the American Heart Association.
SOURCES: Kirk Garratt, M.D., director, interventional cardiology, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; Greg Stone, M.D., professor, medicine, Columbia University Medical Center, New York City; Aug. 21, 2012, JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions and Aug. 28, 2012, Journal of the American College of Cardiology
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