More Evidence that Statins Match Stents for Long Life and Fewer Heart Attacks

 

    A stent from Boston Scientific.  Source of photo:  online version of the NYT article cited below.

 

Dr. Boden would not have been so "incredulous" if he had read August 2006 and December 2006 entries on artdiamondblog.com.  My title for this entry could have read "Statins Beat Stents" if I had taken account of statin’s being less invasive than stents, with lower risk of complications.

 

NEW ORLEANS, March 26 — Many heart patients routinely implanted with stents to open arteries gain no lasting benefit compared with those treated just with drugs, researchers reported Monday.

The researchers said patients with stents to prop open coronary blood vessels in addition to being treated with statins and other heart drugs in a five-year trial had better blood flow to the heart than patients treated only with drugs.

But they did not live longer or suffer fewer heart attacks, a finding that confirmed the results of smaller studies.

The researchers also found that the stents were highly successful at improving blood flow and relieving symptoms, including chest pain and shortness of breath, but that the advantage disappeared over time.

“When I saw the results, I was incredulous,” said Dr. William E. Boden, a cardiologist at the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, lead author of a report on the study published online on Monday by The New England Journal of Medicine.

 

For the full story, see: 

BARNABY J. FEDER.  "In Trial, Drugs Equal Benefits of Artery Stents."  The New York Times  (Tues., March 27, 2007):  A1 & A13.

 

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