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Bypass Surgery Is Better Than Stents For Diabetic Heart Patients

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Those with diabetes who have clogged heart arteries are better served by bypass surgery than stents, which prop open blood vessels, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (November 5).

The study, funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, noted a lower combined rate of heart attacks, strokes and death (18.7%) for the bypass group, as opposed to rate of 26.6% for the stent group. A total of 1,900 patients were included in the study.

"This has the potential to change clinical practice," said Dr. Alice Jacobs, director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory and interventional cardiology at Boston Medical Center.

She added that the results of the new trial "add to the consistent evidence base supporting coronary artery bypass grafting as the preferred strategy for patients with diabetes and multi-vessel coronary heart disease."

However, Dr. David Williams of Brigham and Woman's Hospital in Boston said that the new trial "was limited to patients with diabetes and multi-vessel disease, which likely is a different type of patient from those with multi-vessel disease who don't have diabetes."

by RTT Staff Writer

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