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Survival odds better with bypass than angioplasty: study

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Patients who undergo bypass surgery for heart disease have better long-term survival rates than those who opt for less invasive procedures like angioplasty, a major US study showed on Tuesday.

The study looked at data from 190,000 US patients and found that those who had bypass surgery had a lower death rate in the first four years (16.4 percent) compared to those who had angioplasty (20.8 percent).

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Bypass operations involve open heart surgery to create a detour around a blocked artery using a vein taken from somewhere else in the patient’s body.

The type of angioplasty examined in the study, known as percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), involves a small incision to thread a balloon, a wire stent or a tube through the blocked artery to keep it open.

“Our study is the most general one ever done because it uses data from across the whole country. It is also much larger than any other study”, said William Weintraub, chair of cardiology at Christiana Care Health System and the study’s lead investigator.

“Combining data from several large databases, we found that survival was better with coronary surgery than percutaneous coronary intervention.”

Still, the evidence does not suggest that bypass surgery is the right option for everyone.

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“It does push the needle toward coronary surgery, but not overwhelmingly so,” said Weintraub.

“When we’re recommending coronary surgery to patients, even though it is a bigger intervention than PCI, we can now have a little more confidence that the decision is a good one.”

Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, and strikes when fatty buildup narrows or blocks the heart’s arteries.

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The research was presented at the 61st scientific meeting of the American College of Cardiology.

(Open-heart bypass surgery photo by Condor 36 via Shutterstock)

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Tennessee Republican says he hasn’t ‘really studied’ whether the Civil War was about slavery

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On Thursday, The Tennessean's Natalie Allison reported that Tennessee state Rep. Mike Sparks, who makes a habit of complaining that "young people" and "journalists" don't bother to study history, could not answer a basic question about what the Civil War was fought over.

"Was the Civil War about slavery?" asked a reporter.

"I haven't really studied it," said Sparks.

"You said you know history!" said another reporter.

"I just think we need to all study history," said Sparks, still not answering the question. "There's different contexts."

This comes during a debate over whether to remove a bust of Confederate general and suspected Klan leader Nathan Bedford Forrest. Another lawmaker, state Sen. Joey Hensley, defended Forrest, arguing that "3,000 Blacks attended his funeral" — a common but unproven claim of Confederate sympathizers.

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Law professor schools Trump’s legal team on why their Supreme Court arguments failed

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Fordham Law Professor Jed Sugerman noted on Twitter, that Thursday's Supreme Court ruling should be a "teachable moment" for the lawyers at the Mazars firm, which fought the disclosure of President Donald Trump's financial information.

During the oral arguments with the High Court about the New York case, Trump attorney Jay Sekulow argued that as president Trump was above the law.

"In both cases, petitioners contended that the subpoenas lacked a legitimate legislative purpose and violated the separation of powers," the Supreme Court said in the decision. "The President did not, however, argue that any of the requested records were protected by executive privilege."

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Holding US government to its treaty promises ‘for once,’ Supreme Court rules nearly half of Oklahoma still Native American territory

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"The big news at the Supreme Court today will be Trump's taxes," said Cherokee writer Rebecca Nagle. "But for Indians in Oklahoma, we'll be talking about today for decades."

Indigenous leaders on Thursday hailed the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in McGirt vs. Oklahoma as a victory for tribal sovereignty for affirming that the U.S. government's treaty with the Muscogee (Creek) Nation must still be recognized by Congress and that nearly half of what is known as the U.S. state of Oklahoma is actually Native American land.

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