According to the results of a new study, treating heart patients with stents is just as good as treating them with drug therapy to relieve chest pain.
Stents are used to unclog arteries, and keep them open so that bloodflow is not compromised.
Numerous studies have been conducted to gage the effectiveness of stents, with some proving them effective but others proving them ineffective.
In the study, 2,287 volunteers as part of the COURAGE study were analyzed that showed that although surgery and stent implementation proved to provide faster relief of chest pain and clogged arteries, over time, patients treated with drugs proved to gain the same amount of relief.
“COURAGE demonstrates that both treatment strategies can have a profoundly positive effect on patients’ health status and suggests complementary roles — optimal medical therapy as first-line therapy, with PCI reserved for patients who do not have a response or who have severe baseline symptoms,” Dr. Eric Peterson of Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, and John Rumsfeld of the Denver Veterans Affairs Medical Center, wrote in a commentary.
Each year in America approximately 1 million angioplasties are performed.