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New Research Challenges Angioplasty Effectiveness

Wednesday, March 28, 2007 at 8:46 AM

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New research that challenges the idea that angioplasty is more effective than drug therapy for treatment of cardiovascular disease could lead to fewer surgeries. ideastream Health Reporter Lisa Ann Pinkerton has more.

This week’s study from the New England Journal of Medicine shows after five years, there was only a 2% difference between heart disease patients that underwent angioplasty/stent surgery and those who took medicines to unclog their arteries. Drugs are less invasive and less expensive compared to the average $25,000 cost of angioplasty surgery. The Cleveland Clinic’s Dr. Steven Nissen, president of the American College of Cardiology, says doctors and patients will factor these new findings into their decision-making, and that or may not result in less hospital revenue.

Steven Nissen: There are certainly people who will prefer to treat with medicines now, and they will be reinforced in doing that after the study. There will be some shifts, but I don’t think there will be a huge shift in the practice patterns.

Nissen says the drugs verses surgery question is only one of the many factors doctors and patients consider when treating clogged arteries. Lisa Ann Pinkerton, 90.3.

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