Printer Friendly

Belated angioplasty saves no lives.

A common heart procedure doesn't save lives if it is performed more than a couple of days after a heart attack, according to a large international clinical trial.

The procedure, angioplasty, has been found to offer benefits when it's done within 48 hours of a heart attack (SN: 6/25/05, p. 413). In angioplasty, doctors force open a blocked heart artery by inserting and inflating a tiny balloon.

Nearly one-third of heart attack patients don't realize what's happening to them and so get no treatment within the 2-day timeframe, says Judith S. Hochman of New York University, who led the new study. In that group, doctors typically still administer drugs and often perform angioplasty once the heart attack is diagnosed. "Until this trial was completed, we didn't know they were getting unnecessary [angioplasty] procedures," Hochman says.

She and her colleagues studied 2,166 heart attack patients. All were given standard drug therapy, which usually includes administering aspirin and pills containing beta-blockers, during the period between 2 and 28 days, and on average 8 days, after the attack. The researchers then randomly selected half of the patients to receive angioplasty.

After 3 years, rates of death, recurrence of heart attack, and development of severe heart failure were not significantly different between the two groups, Hochman reported.--B.H.
COPYRIGHT 2006 Science Service, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2006, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:TREATMENT
Publication:Science News
Date:Dec 2, 2006
Words:218
Previous Article:Oceans reveal secrets of viruses.
Next Article:Test identifies people at cardiac risk.


Related Articles
Fatty acids cut heart-artery narrowing.
Heart studies add to fish-oil controversy.
Angioplasty deemed unnecessary for many.
Heart choice for diabetics.
Success clearing clogged arteries.
SEMPER FI; MARINE VETERAN GETS ATTENTION ON TURNING 105.
Cycling and surgery have similar effect. (Exercise).
A matter of time: Should most hospitals send away heart attack patients?
Stent repair: coated replacements better than radiation.
Have a heart--surgery unit, that is.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters