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Bypass Surgery, a Better Option than Angioplasty for Severe Heart Patients

hey also must take drugs to keep clots from forming in the stent."

In other study results, the researchers found that both bypass surgery and angioplasty provided more benefit for patients than medicines alone. For patients with the most severe disease, the procedures added 23.6 months of life over the 15 years covered in the study. For medium severity disease (two blocked arteries), procedures added 10.6 months of life. For low severity disease (one blocked artery), procedures added 8.1 months of life.

Smith also pointed out that his group's study has the strength of having analyzed patients who are fairly representative of the general population of heart patients, and so the results showing long-term benefits of bypass surgery should be widely applicable.

By contrast, he said, cardiologists' widespread use of angioplasty and stents is based on the results of clinical trials in which patients are carefully screened before being allowed to participate. Although valuable, such clinical trials have not provided the type of long-term data on treatment efficacy in a real-world population of patients that exists for bypass surgery, he said.

"The idea that a therapy such as stents has found such wide application without long-term follow-up is concerning to me," Smith said.

Source-Eurekalert
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