Saturday, April 17, 2010

Diabetics and Elderly May Fare Better With Bypass

(HealthDay News) -- A major international study pinpoints which people with major heart artery blockages would be better off having bypass surgery than artery-opening angioplasty.

"Bypass surgery is preferable for people with diabetes and older patients," said Dr. Mark Hlatky, professor of health research and policy and cardiovascular medicine at Stanford University and lead author of a report published online in The Lancet. "We used 65 as the cutoff point and, as age went up, so did the benefit of bypass surgery."

Hlatky led a group that looked at survival data on almost 8,000 people treated in 10 trials worldwide. Overall, the death rate over an average of nearly six years was almost the same for those who had bypass surgery (15 percent) and those who had what is formally called percutaneous coronary intervention, or PCI (16 percent).

But analysis showed that people with diabetes were 30 percent less likely to die if they had bypass surgery rather than PCI. People 65 and older who had bypass surgery had a mortality rate of 20 percent, compared with 24 percent for PCI. Read more...

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